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Tango Messaging App Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

Tango Messaging App Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

The Syrian Electronic Army, a group of hackers that supports the Assad regime, claims it has hacked the database server of messaging and social networking service, Tango.

https://twitter.com/Official_SEA12/status/358355124751568896

The group posted the following message to its website Friday:

The Syrian Electronic Army hacked the Tango app (video/text messages service) website and database

The databases content a of millions of  the app users phone numbers and contacts and their emails

More than 1,5 TB of the daily-backups of the servers network has been downloaded successfully

Much of the information in the databases that were downloaded  will be delivered to the Syrian government

The posting also includes screenshots that claim to be of a backup folder from the application’s servers, the app log and the backup folder size.

The Syrian Electronic Army also has a  history of hijacking the social media accounts of major news and entertainment outlets to disseminate disinformation and pro-Assad messaging.  It typically carries out such attacks by means of phishing messages, in which a user is tricked into clicking on a link that enables hackers to access the account.  One of SEA’s most notable attacks was on the Associated Press Twitter account, through which it posted tweets falsely claiming that explosions had gone off at the White House and injured President Obama.  The tweet caused the Dow Jones industrial average to temporarily plummet.

Syrian state television also announced the Tango hacking, indicating records of local users had been seized by the hackers, according to the Associated Press.

It also made reference to another hacking last week by the Syrian Electronic Army, when SEA claimed to have hacked the database of Truecaller and bragged of having gained access to social media account information of users.

https://twitter.com/Official_SEA12/status/357298063167070211

While Truecaller acknowledged the cyberattack, it denied that any sensitive information or social media passwords for its users were obtained by the hackers, adding, “It is false information that attackers were able to access our users’ Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media passwords.”

Indeed, there is often some disinformation mixed in with such claims when it comes to hackers.  So it’s difficult to know how much of this most recent claim is accurate, unless and until Tango issues a statement.  As of this writing, it had not yet made any statement regarding the Syrian Electronic Army’s hacking claim.

If the hacking claims do prove to be true, as the Associated Press points out, this could pose risks especially for activists in and around Syria who oppose the Assad regime.  Many use social networking and messaging applications in lieu of standard telephone communication, amidst fears of government phone monitoring.

Tango started out as a chat/messaging application, but has increasingly added features to expand and market its service as a social networking and entertainment platform.  A recent release also introduced capabilities for mobile app developers in the gaming industry, further expanding its focus and reach.

Tango.me is based in Mountain View, California and boasts 130+ million users.

Read previous coverage of the Syrian Electronic Army.

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Comments

“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

Seriously, I wonder who’s behind the Syrian Electronic Army. It could be anything from a couple of college kids, a friendly foreign intelligence service, or even a group of mercenary hackers.

Carol Herman | July 21, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Did you know the syrian people don’t have internet access?

Remember back in May, when Israel blew up 4 ammunition storehouses in Damascus? And, someone there, with internet access, posted the explosions (occurring about a mile away). And, this video went viral? The next day Assad cut the two servers that supplied all the syrians with internet service.

It’s never come back on line. How do I know? I got to REDDIT daily. And, before the internet access was cut off, I’d read (in English), posts made by syrian citizens. Since that cutoff, they are gone.

As to what files Assad’s downloaded, I’m sure the russians have also downloaded. And, I’m also sure the white house is flooded with so much data … they don’t have the personnel who can “read” this stuff.

Don’t forget the 29 year old contractor, Ed Snowden, was given all the access he could handle because no one above him had any mathematical skills.

Today, we can even ask “can they read cursive?

I doubt they’re a friendly foreign intel service. Pros wouldn’t let folks know that they’d compromised their comms. I think it was the early 1970s before we admitted that we’d cracked Enigma.

[…] SEA had issuing warnings to The Daily Dot from Twitter, demanding the site remove a photo the hacker(s) didn’t like that had accompanied an article about SEA’s recent hacking of Tango. […]

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