The official blog and social media accounts belonging to Skype, a Web calling and video chat service owned by Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), appear to have been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army on New Year’s Day.
The SEA, a team of anonymous hackers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad and known for a number of attacks against Western media organizations in 2013, hijacked Skype’s Twitter and Facebook accounts as well as its official blog. The attack appears to be in retaliation for revelations by Edward Snowden that Microsoft gave the National Security Agency access to users’ account information and emails.
“Don’t use Microsoft emails (hotmail, outlook), They are monitoring your accounts and selling it to the governments #SEA [sic],” the SEA said via the official Skype page on Facebook. Skype appears to have regained control of the Facebook account and the post has been removed.
The SEA used Skype’s Twitter account to tweet a similar message. On its own Twitter account, the SEA tweeted what it claims is a picture of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s personal Skype information.
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Skype regained control of its Twitter account and posted the following tweet on Wednesday. It has not tweeted anything since.
You may have noticed our social media properties were targeted today. No user info was compromised. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.
— Skype (@Skype) January 2, 2014
The Skype blogs seem to have been the most compromised by the SEA. A post appeared on Wednesday on the official Skype blog with a headline reading, “Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army. Stop Spying!” All of Skype’s blogs remain offline, and links to any Skype blog post redirect to Skype’s homepage.
Skype wasn’t the only Internet communication service hacked on New Year’s Eve: The usernames and phone numbers associated with 4.6 million Snapchat accounts were posted as a free download.