CNN's Twitter and Facebook accounts hacked

A group styled as the Syrian Electronic Army claimed credit

A number of CNN's social media accounts and blogs were hacked Thursday by a group styling itself as the Syrian Electronic Army.

The cable news network said its main Facebook account, Twitter feeds and some blogs were targeted and content posted on some of them. The posts, including unauthorized tweets, were deleted in minutes and the accounts have since been secured, it said.

The SEA, a group that supports the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, said in a Twitter message that it had decided to retaliate against CNN's "viciously lying reporting aimed at prolonging the suffering" in Syria.

SEA has targeted previously many high-profile websites and Twitter accounts.

This month it attacked the social media properties of Skype, Microsoft's Internet phone unit, and several other Microsoft social media pages and blogs, including the Microsoft Office Blogs site. The SEA charged the company with selling customer data to governments, presumably a reference to disclosures last year by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden, that Internet companies were allegedly providing access to real-time customer data to the agency.

In August, an attack purportedly by SEA on Melbourne IT, an Australian domain registrar, affected the websites of The New York Times, Twitter and other top companies.

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The attack on CNN is in line with earlier attacks by the SEA, which were primarily focused on issues related to the civil war in Syria.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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