Syrian Electronic Army rings in New Year by hacking Skype’s social media accounts

The year 2014 marked its beginning with hackers attacking well known servers including Skype, Snapchat and BBC. Skype’s Twitter account, Facebook page and even the blog on its own website, were hacked by a group that calls itself Syrian Electronic Army(SEA), supported by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

As a part of this cyber attack, SEA blocked Skype’s blog and spread an anti-Microsoft campaign using Skype’s Twitter page. Skype was acquired by Microsoft in 2011.

Here is a glimpse of various tweets posted by SEA on the Skype’s Twitter page:

“Don’t use Microsoft mails(hotmail,outlook), they monitors your account and sell data to the government”

“Stop spying on people!via Syrian Electronic Army!”

Some people took these tweets very seriously and thought someone from Microsoft itself was posting such tweets, while some other made sarcastic comments. These tweets were however removed after a few hours. Also, at the time of writing this piece, Skype’s blog was functional and was showing no signs of attack.

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In another tweet on its own Twitter page, SEA has listed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, stating “You can thank Microsoft for monitoring your accounts/emails”, thereby accusing Microsoft of monitoring its user’s emails/accounts.

What’s going on with Snapchat?

Besides this, the attack on Snapchat affected its 4.6 Mn users, by uploading their account details such as usernames and last two digit of their phone numbers online. Although, the details were posted only temporarily and were later removed, but the cached version is still available.

We know nothing about SnapchatDB, but it was a matter of time til something like that happened.Also the exploit works still with minor fixes

— Gibson Security (@gibsonsec) January 1, 2014

These are not the first cases of such severe degree cyber attacks. Last year, Whistle-blower Edward Snowden also leaked documents which contains surveillance details carried out by US National Security Agency(NSA). The documents stated that the agencies had “backdoor” to servers of nine major companies including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, Youtube and Apple. But all companies denied their involvement.

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