Official BBC Weather and Arabia Twitter accounts are hacked by pro-Assad supporters

The BBC weather twitter account has been hacked by pro Assad supportersLooks like the official BBC Weather account on Twitter and @BBCArabicOnline have been hacked. It appears to be another attack by pro-Bashar al-Assad supporters who have hit another Western media Twitter account.

A message has been posted on both Twitter feeds claiming that the “Syrian Electronic Army Was Here via @Official_SEA #SEA #Syria“.

Recently the French news agency Agence France-Presse  lost access to one of its accounts and in the past Reuters has also been hit. This is the first time a BBC-owned account has suffered.

In August Reuters reported that its @ReutersTech was hacked and changed to @ReutersME. That incident followed news that the blogging platform of the Reuters News website was compromised a week before and a false post purporting to carry an interview with a Syrian rebel leader was posted on a Reuters’ journalist’s blog.

The hacked Twitter account sent a series of 22 false tweets carrying false reports about Syrian rebel losses suffered in battles with Syrian government forces as they battled in Aleppo.

The attack on the BBC, AFP and Reuters echoes what others are reporting about how the regime is using social media to attack western media.

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle last year reported on how Assad’s electronic attacks were targeting social networks and international media: “Here are e-mail addresses and passwords of Al Jazeera employees” reads a message on the website of the “Syrian Electronic Army.” The message goes on to say that the group has 40 British and 150 US news pages under its control as well as the websites of Syrians abroad “who are supporting the terror against our country.”

The Internet portal is conceived as a propaganda arm of Bashar Assad’s regime, encouraging its users to support the beleaguered dictator through spam attacks. The attacks are targeted at media critical of the Assad regime.

BBC attack

In the latest attack a series of messages have been posted on the @BBCWeather @BBCArabicOnline Twitter accounts of a political nature.

On BBC Weather they includes anti-Semitic tweets as well as others such as: “Long Live Syria Al-Assad”.

The BBC says the Twitter account is one of its own and that it is investigating.