The Syrian Electronic Army, a hacker group staunchly pro- current president Bashar Assad, has added one more organization to the growing list successfully attacked websites and twitter accounts. Yesterday the twitter account of French newspaper Le Monde (@LemondeFR) was for a few moments taken over by the SEA before being suspended. Though short lived, in the time of the attacked the group managed to plaster their names and logo, as well as the words ‘L'armée électronique syrienne était ici’ (the Syrian Electronic Army was here), a message reminiscent of the one the group left on the website of Harvard in one of their earliest attacks. They as well managed to release at least one notable tweet, namely one where they tweeted ‘Je ne suis pas Charlie’, a reactionary message parodying the international support French magazine Charlie Hebdo received after their headquarters were attacked earlier this month.
Le Monde has since regained control of their twitter account, and tweeted the following in response: "Après le piratage de notre compte, nos équipes ont désormais repris la main. Nos excuses pour les messages frauduleux postés en notre nom" (Our team has now taken control since the hacking of our account. We apologize for the fraudulent reports posted in our names. )
The SEA has been now been active for more than a decade, and their list of attacks consists of everything from reputable journalistic sites such as Reuters and the Associated Press, satiric news sited such as the Onion, the Xbox support Twitter account, all the way to social networks such as LinkedIn. Perhaps their most infamous attack to date was when in the SEA used the Associated Press' twitter account to falsely report that Americacn president Barack Obama had been injured in a bombing of thee White House.
In light of recent events in France, such an attack feels almost expected, and it almost isn’t surprising that LeMonde’s twitter account was suspended so quickly. What is unclear from the message left is whether the SEA is against the blasphemous portrayals of the prophet, or in favor of the attacks that happened there a few weeks ago.
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