Daily Israel Report

Syrian Hackers Target The Onion's Twitter Feed

Syrian Electronic Army hacks the Twitter feed of satirical website The Onion, injecting its own sardonic spin on the conflict.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/7/2013, 4:15 AM

Hackers (illustration)
Hackers (illustration)
AFP/File

The Twitter feed of satirical U.S. news website The Onion was hacked Monday by a Syrian group aiming to inject its own sardonic spin on the deadly conflict, AFP reports.

Screenshots posted by eHacking News indicated that a group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army took control of the feed and posted comments and photos in line with similar intrusions at other news organizations.

"UN retracts report of Syrian chemical weapon use: 'Lab tests confirm it is Jihadi body odor,'" said one tweet, according to AFP.

Another tweet said, "UN's Ban Ki Moon condemns Syria for being struck by Israel: 'It was in the way of Jewish missiles.'"

The Onion did not respond to an AFP request for comment, but later confirmed the attack with a news story offering its own brand of humor:

"Following today's incident in which the Syrian Electronic Army hacked into The Onion's Twitter account, sources at America's Finest News Source confirmed that its Twitter password has been changed to OnionMan77 in order to prevent any future cyber-attacks," the news article said.

A separate article said the Syrian hacker group "simply wanted to have a little fun before soon dying at the hands of rebel forces."

Earlier, some comments on Twitter questioned whether the incident was a hoax by the organization itself, reported AFP.

"Either @TheOnion has been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army, or this is its most convincing stunt ever," one tweet said.

Another user tweeted, "The Onion's Twitter feed has been hacked and yet it is still a more reliable news source than CNN."

The Syrian Electronic Army, which appears to be aligned with the government of President Bashar al-Assad, has previously claimed credit for hacking AFP, the Associated Press and other news organizations.

Several weeks ago, hackers broke into the Twitter account of the Associated Press news agency and posted an erroneous tweet about explosions at the White House.

The tweet claimed there had been two explosions at the White House and that President Barack Obama had been injured. AP subsequently suspended its Twitter account.

The U.S. has launched an investigation into reports that hackers, using a Russian web address, published what they said were the credit reports of Michelle Obama, Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and Los Angeles Police Chief Charles Beck.

Syria, China, Iran, Bahrain and Vietnam have been termed "Enemies of the Internet" for their flagrant spying online.