Microsoft red faced again as Syrian Electronic Army hijacks Twitter feeds

Finds way into Twitter, official blog and even emails

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has claimed another digital scalp, following up its attack on Skype's Twitter account earlier this month by dishing out to the same treatment to two other Microsoft feeds and its blog page.

In the early hours of 12 January Pacific time two Microsoft accounts, @MSFTnews and @XboxSupport, started spouting anti-Microsoft tweets.

The first published by the @MSFTnews feed under SEA control announced that "don't use Microsoft emails hotmail, outlook). They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the government," the same message used in the takeover of Skype's Facebook page, Twitter feed and blog page on 2 January.

As with the Skype attack, the SEA also found a way into Microsoft's official blog, redirecting it to their website. The SEA published screenshots of what appeared to be emails sentw between Microsoft employees after the blog hijack.

A notable aspect of the story is the speed with which Microsoft is reported to have responded to the Twitter hack, which suggests the firm has planned contingencies sin place for such events.

At the same time the fact that several high-profile Microsoft accounts have been hijacked in short order by the same group will be embarrassing to a firm that has built its image since 2004 on a careful Software Development Lifecycle (SDL). If only the same could be easily applied to the Internet.

By Monday, the SEA's own Twitter propaganda account was triumphantly retweeting journalist accounts of the attacks.

The SEA's attack rarely cause much more than embarrassment, which is not to say this isn't considerable. The groups numerous account takeovers - Twitter has been a running theme - has also been a major factor in Twitter tightening up its corporate account security.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Personal TechskypeMicrosoftsecuritytwitterFacebook

More about FacebookMicrosoftSDLSkype

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by John E Dunn

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts