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Hacked Israel Defence Force Twitter account spruiks nuke leak fears

Syrian hackers pop Twitter Hootsuite dashboard

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Hacker outfit the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) hours ago cracked Israel's Defence Force (IDF) Twitter account where it posted a fake warning of a possible nuclear leak due to rocket strikes.

The group posted under the IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) account of a "possible nuclear leak in the region after two rockets hit [the] Dimona nuclear facility" which triggered a brief panic among some of the account's 215,000 followers.

The SEA published a screenshot showing it gained access to the IDF's Hootsuite dashboard, a Twitter client that manages public tweets and private direct messages.

Israel's defence force later apologised for the erroneous and alarmist tweet advising users it was compromised and would "combat terror on all fronts including the cyber dimension".



IDF Hootsuite panel

It came days after the SEA defaced the IDF official blog with political propaganda.

The SEA were thought in some quarters to be an official wing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who in a 2011 speech to Damascus Univeristy likened the group to frontline troops which have "proven themselves to be an active power" and a "real army in virtual reality".

Opposition forces claim members earned up to $1000 from Assad's wealthy cousin Rami Makhlouf for high profile hacks against western targets.

One alleged high ranking SEA member told the Daily Dot in May last year the group was not back the Syrian Government and was comprised of Syrian youths who "want to defend their country against the media campaign that is full of lies and fabricated news reports".

The group did not say how the attacks were executed but it has a history of using phishing as a vector to gain account details. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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