Syrian Electronic Army claims credit for E! Online Twitter hacking

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 May, 2013, 11:25am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 May, 2013, 11:25am

E! Online says hackers compromised its Twitter and text messaging accounts, sending out erroneous news alerts about Justin Bieber and Angelina Jolie.

The Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility for Saturday’s hack.

E! Online said it was working with Twitter to correct the issue, and that an investigation into the attack was underway.

The SEA has taken credit for a string of Web attacks on media targets it sees as sympathetic to Syria’s rebels, including the BBC, Al-Jazeera English and the Guardian.

Last week, the pro-government group succeeded in hacking The Associated Press' main Twitter account, with 1.9 million followers. It falsely claimed that US President Barack Obama had been injured in an explosion.

AP corrected the message, but not before US$130 billion had been briefly wiped off the value of stocks.

The Syrian Electronic Army began in 2011. According to defectors, the group moved last year from Damascus to a secret base in Dubai.

The Syrian government, under President Bashar al-Assad, is widely believed to be behind the SEA's activities.

Additional reporting by The Guardian