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CNN social media accounts hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

CNN social media accounts hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

Just before 6:00pm ET on Thursday, the Twitter account of CNN appeared to have been hijacked by the Syrian Electronic Army when the news outlet began posting tweets that read, “Long live #Syria via @Official_SEA16 #SEA” and “Syrian Electronic Army was here… Stop lying… all your reports are fake! via @Official_SEA16 #SEA.”

The CNN Public Relations Twitter account posted a message shortly thereafter that read, “Some of our organization’s social media accounts were compromised. We have secured those accounts and are working to remedy the issue.”

As it turned out, several of CNN’s accounts, including its main Facebook account, the CNN Politics’ Facebook account and a number of the outlet’s blogs had also been compromised.

Among the other tweets SEA managed to post publicly before control of the account was regained was one that referred to President Obama as “Obama Bin Laden the lord of terror…”

Another read, “DON’T FORGET:  Al Qaeda is Al CIA da.  Funded, armed and controlled.”


(screen capture: h/t Mediaite)

SEA sent out a series of tweets from its own Twitter account, criticizing CNN’s coverage of the conflict in Syria and accusing the CIA of controlling and funding Al Qaeda.


Matthew Keyes’ The Desk reported that SEA provided screen captures of some of the activity associated to the incident.

SEA hacker “Th3Pr0″ sent several screen captures of the CNN hack to The Desk Thursday evening. The images show hackers briefly had access to a compromised Hootsuite account used to publish news on CNN’s various social profiles, as well as a WordPress account used to post entries on several CNN blogs.

CNN again confirmed the incident and provided additional details in a posting at its website later Thursday evening.

Some of CNN’s social media accounts and blogs were compromised Thursday.

The affected accounts included CNN’s main Facebook account, CNN Politics’ Facebook account and the Twitter page for CNN. Blogs for Political Ticker, The Lead, Security Clearance, The Situation Room and Crossfire were also hacked.

The posts were deleted within minutes and the accounts have since been secured.

The Syrian Electronic Army, a group of pro-Assad hackers, is of course known for targeting the accounts of news organizations, as well as corporations, among others.


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If this is what a bunch of dopey Syrians can do (though they probably had Russian help), what are China and Russia capable of, if things go hot? And is our government preparing for this asymmetric warfare? It doesn’t look like it, because there doesn’t seem to be much interest in hardening our public utilities, telecommunications, and the GPS system. But I’m sure there will be lots of commissions and finger pointing after the damage is done.

I think CNN hacked their own site hoping for a ratings bump.