U.S. broadcaster CNN said its social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter, were hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA).
The attack took place on Thursday, January 23, and the compromised accounts included Twitter pages for CNN and CNN's Security Clearance, the CNN Politics' Facebook account, and blogs for "The Situation Room" and "Crossfire."
The Facebook and Twitter accounts of CNN reflected content from SEA between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET before they were taken down.
"The posts were deleted within minutes and the accounts have since been secured," noted CNN in a story on its website.
The CNN account tweeted messages such as "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here... Stop lying... All your reports are fake!" and "Obama Bin Laden the lord of terror is brewing lies that the Syrian state controls Al Qaeda."
A post on the compromised CNN Security Clearance blog read "US declares state of national emergency, State department reportedly out of reach." The content began with the statement "Press has received a telegram" clearly reflective that the message was bogus.
The SEA has taken responsibility for the attacks on the CNN social media accounts. For the uninitiated, the SEA is a group of computer hackers who are in favor of the ideologies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The SEA's act was a reaction to CNN's alleged biased reporting on Syria.
"Tonight, the #SEA decided to retaliate against #CNN's viciously lying reporting aimed at prolonging the suffering in #Syria," read the SEA's tweet.
— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) January 24, 2014
This, however, is not the first instance that the group has indulged in such activities. In the past, the SEA has hacked the accounts of BBC, Associated Press, NPR, The Washington Post, as well as President Obama's official Twitter account. In 2013, the SEA claimed responsibility for a 20-hour long outage on the New York Times website. The group is synonymous with posting proactive material pertaining to the ongoing conflict in Syria.
After securing the compromised social media accounts, CNN said it was working to detect the hole and plug it. "Some of our organization's social media accounts were compromised via third-party social publishing platform," noted CNN in a Facebook post. "We have secured those accounts and are working with the affected vendors to remedy the issue."