Recently, the Twitter accounts for the CBS programs “60 Minutes” and “48 Hours” was taken over by the Syrian Electronic Army hacktivist group. Soon after the hijacks, Twitter quickly shut down the accounts, and now CBS is trying to find out how the group got into the twitter accounts in the first place.
A spokesperson for CBS news confirmed on Saturday that the accounts for two of their popular news networks had been compromised but did not initially release any speculations what was behind the ordeal. However, the "Syrian Electronic Army" (SEA) quickly took responsibility for the attacks, and there seems to be a continuing effort to disrupt major media outlets by the hacktivist group.
Currently, both CBS accounts have been suspended by Twitter and are totally inaccessible to the public. CBS says they are working with Twitter to try and pinpoint the origin of the hack and figure out how they got past their regularly updated passwords.
While the instigator of the hack was not immediately announced by CBS, responsibility was claimed by SEA which has repeatedly targeted numerous high profile media outlets with Twitter accounts. Groups such SEA discovered very quickly that they can get far more publicity by posting their views on hacked accounts rather than a simple website hijack.
One Denver affiliate with CBS had its Twitter account compromised with a post that read "new evidence of CIA arming Al Qaeda terrorists in #Syria”. Soon after another tweet read that terrorists were being given weapons of mass destruction direct from NATO troops.
So far this year supporters for or against the Syrian uprising and other purported terrorist organizations have been using social media as the main means in which to spread their message.
Just a few days ago, SEA successfully took over National Public Radio’s, “The Two-Way” news site, NPR.org and a few of NPR's Twitter accounts. A press release from NPR confirmed the break-ins by SEA that read in part, "Late Monday evening, several stories on the NPR website were defaced with headlines and text that said 'Syrian Electronic Army Was Here.' Some of these stories were distributed to and appeared on NPR Member Station websites.”
Contrary to a lot of other anti-government hacker groups, SEA claims to be supportive of Syria’s current yet controversial President, Bahar Assad. The group has also taken responsibility for hacking the Twitter accounts for the Reuters news agency and the British Broadcasting Company.