Daily Israel Report

Hacked: Bashar al-Assad

The Hacktivist group targeted President Bashar al-Assad and his bureau and cracked their emails in order to upload them to the web.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 2/8/2012, 8:41 AM

Syrian President Bashar Assad
Syrian President Bashar Assad
Flash 90

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's notion of security apparently includes using 123456 as a computer password.

According to the site Mashable the Hacktivist group, Anonymous leaked Assad's password while in the process of raiding his bureau's emails and uploading them to the web.

"The string of consecutive numbers is the second-weakest password according to a 2011 study," the Mashable report said. "Topping the list are 'password,' '123456,' '12345678,' "qwerty," and 'abc123,'" the group explained.

According to reports in Israel's Hebrew-language press some 78 members of Assad's bureau had their email hacked. Among those hacked were the minister of presidential affairs, Mansour Fadlallah Azzam, and Assad's media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban.

The Mashable report said one email that included documents intended to prepare Assad for his December 2011 interview with Barbara Walters. The leaked email reportedly advised Assad  to emphasize the openness of Facebook and YouTube to show "the true situation in Syria." 

It also allegedly suggested Syria's restrictions of foreign journalists be spun to protect the country from "misrepresentation."

The Syrian President's cyber-security faux pax was exposed as his regime faces mounting internal and international pressure, and many predict his downfall.

Damascus' economy is languishing under an extensive raft of sanctions from the United States, European Union, and Arab League, but has been shielded from universal sanctions by Russia. Moscow has billions of investments tied up in Syria.

The regime also faces a growing insurgency by the Free Syrian Army. Comprised mostly of Syrian army defectors armed with light infantry weapons, the gorup has mounted numerous deadly attacks and is said to control significant chunks of the north.

Amid the growing chaos, Sunni terror groups, including Al Qaeda, have launched a series of attacks as well.

United Nations Human Rights officials have stopped counting the dead in Assad's nearly year-long bloody crackdown on anti-regime protesters, which has claimed more than 6,000 civilian lives.

Assad's regime says over 2,000 members of the security forces have been killed in clashes as well.