Skype didn’t exactly get off to a great start in 2014, as the Syrian Electronic Army decided it would be rather amusing to hack service on the first day of the year.
The SEA hacked Skype’s Facebook, Twitter and official blog, posting the same message on all three: end spying on the public. The same sentiment was tweeted by the SEA itself:
Don’t use Microsoft emails(hotmail,outlook),They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments.http://t.co/1I1nZx30SV
— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) January 1, 2014
When news of breach got out, Skype was quick to take back control of its Facebook and Twitter accounts, but until now, access to its blog is being redirected to its homepage.
Though its social media properties were compromised, Skype claims that no user information was compromised:
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 attack on Skype is obviously related to the revelations of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who lifted the lid on NSA spying last year. Snowden exposed the NSA’s PRISM program, wherein a number of big technology companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Google are alleged to have aided the agency in spying on the public. Though the companies all denied ever participating in the program, there are now doubts about these company’s credibility.
The SEA is believed to be funded by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and had a pretty busy year in 2013. The group has successfully attacked a number of media outlets, including the BBC and The New York Times, plus social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and even Apple, Ubuntu, NASDAQ and the US Marine Corps.
Though the SEA seems like it’s doing the world a favor by informing them of how unscrupulous the US government has been, not all hackers share the same sentiments, especially when they’re affecting millions of users.
Back in September, a group claiming to be a part of hacktivist Anonymous took down the SEA’s servers and databases. Members of Anonymous compromised SEA servers as well as obtaining members’ names along with user IDs and passwords, and copied gigabytes of SEA data. But the SEA was quick to state that the images provided by the hackers were fake, and insisted that it has not been compromised.
2014 has just begun and we can expect more attacks from the SEA, not too mention groups like Anonymous, but will they be any more damaging than last year’s attacks? Only time will tell…