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Microsoft Twitter accounts hit again by Syrian Electronic Army

13 Jan 2014
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The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) hacktivist group has hijacked the Microsoft News and Xbox Support Twitter accounts, marking the second attack on the firm's social media accounts this year.

The SEA targeted the accounts over the weekend, leaving tweets that said: "The Syrian Electronic Army was here." Blogs on its Technet pages were also compromised for a short time. Microsoft confirmed in a statement to V3  its services were breached, but said no user data was affected.

The statement said: "Microsoft is aware of targeted cyber attacks that temporarily affected the Xbox Support and Microsoft News Twitter accounts. The accounts were quickly reset and we can confirm that no customer information was compromised."

The offending messages from its accounts and blogs have now been deleted.

The attack is the second by the SEA to target Microsoft's Twitter accounts this year. The SEA hacked into Skype's blog and Twitter accounts earlier this year. In the previous attack the SEA used the hijacked accounts to post a series of messages criticising Microsoft's privacy practices.

The hacks will no doubt serve as an embarrassment to Microsoft, especially as it would have been working to try and ensure a similar incident could not happen again. The SEA said the attack was designed to punish Microsoft for its supposed involvement in the National Security Agency's (NSA) PRISM campaign.

News of the PRISM campaign broke in 2013 when ex-CIA analyst Edward Snowden leaked documents to the press proving that the NSA was siphoning vast amounts of web user data from several companies, including Microsoft.

The NSA has since moved to downplay the significance of PRISM, claiming its agents only saw 0.00004 percent of the world's web traffic during their missions. Experts have since warned that the PRISM campaign will cause lasting damage to the global economy, despite the NSA's claim.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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