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Twitter-hacking Syrian Electronic Army: How much state support does it have?

The Twitter hacks by the Syrian Electronic Army – the most recent hit The Guardian – reflect a shift toward disseminating propaganda and attacking Syria’s perceived enemies in the media. 

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A screenshot of the Twitter account for the BBC's weather service on Thursday March 21. Supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad appear to have hijacked the Twitter account for the BBC's weather service.

AP

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The pro-Syrian cyberhackers behind the recent attacks on major media outlets’ Twitter accounts claim to be members of a grass-roots organization defending the honor of the nation, but are likely nothing more than government-backed cyberwarriors, some researchers say.

The hacks by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) on Twitter reflect an intensifying effort in recent weeks to disseminate pro-Syrian propaganda and attack Syria’s perceived enemies in the media. The emphasis marks an apparent shift for the group, which previously had focused more on attacking and defacing websites and Facebook pages of members of Syria’s opposition and others they perceived as anti-Syrian, according to close observers of the group.

The most recent attack came Monday, with the SEA hacking into several Twitter accounts belonging to the British newspaper, The Guardian.

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