Syrian Electronic Army hacked social outlets of CNN on Thursday January 23, 2014. It was also able to compromise one of CNN blogs from a brief period of time. SEA was successful to perform several superficial hacks on a number of press outlets in 2013. However, the visibility of the superficial hacks on social media was enough to embarrass giant names in the business. There is a common point in all the hacks performed by SEA. They post provocative material in connection to the on-going political tension in Syria. This time it was no exception either.
NBC News reported that CNN's Twitter and Facebook accounts showed SEA content between 6 o'clock and 7 o'clock in the evening (ET). There was a tweet from CNN which read: "Obama Bin Laden the lord of terror is brewing lies that the Syrian state controls Al Qaeda". One of the first SEA content appeared on CNN's Twitter account was ""DON'T FORGET: Al Qaeda is AL CIA da. Funded, armed and controlled." Then there was a tweet: "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here...Stop lying...All your reports are fake!"
Then, there was a post on the "Security Clearance" blog of the news agency saying: "US declares state of national emergency, State department reportedly out of reach". CNN was, however, able to get back everything under control within a short period of time. All the fake content was removed within minutes. CNN admitted the compromise in one of its tweets: "Some of our organization's social media accounts were compromised. We have secured those accounts and are working to remedy the issue."
It was more evident that it was SEA that hacked the CNN accounts when it declared on Twitter about its achievements. SEA tweeted that the hacking was the retaliation against the biased reporting by CNN on Syrian conflict. Earlier, SEA also acted similarly against many other giant names in the news media including the Associate Press and The Washington Post. It was also able to hack the official Twitter account of U.S. President Barack Obama.