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FRANCE 24 Twitter feeds hacked by pro-Assad activists

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Two FRANCE 24 Twitter accounts were hacked for a few hours on Monday by online activists loyal to the Syrian regime. The Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility for the attacks on their Facebook page.


Online activists loyal to the Assad regime targeted FRANCE 24 on Monday, temporarily hacking into two Twitter accounts to spread false reports.

The channel’s Arabic twitter account “@FRANCE24_AR” was hijacked for about three hours in a cyber attack claimed by the Syrian Electronic Army. The hackers only managed to post four tweets to the account’s 405,000 subscribers, spreading false reports about the death of Syrian opposition figures Riad al-Asaad and Manaf Tlass.

The second hacked account belongs to FRANCE 24’s participative platform “The Observers”, a site that covers news through a global network of citizen journalists.

“We regained control of our @observateurs Twitter account. Bye bye Syrian hackers”, the Observers’ editor, Julien Pain, wrote on Twitter after regaining control of his account at 10.36pm on Monday evening.

FRANCE 24’s social network team say that the hackers also tried to hijack the French and English language twitter feeds by sending requests to re-initialise the accounts’ passwords.

Several international news organisations have suffered similar embarrassments, with the Twitter accounts belonging to Reuters and al Jazeera infiltrated for a short period of time by pro-Assad hackers during the summer of 2012.

French news agency AFP also reported that one of its Twitter photo accounts was hacked for about an hour on February 26.

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