The Twitter feed of satirical US news website The Onion was hacked Monday by a Syrian group aiming to inject its own sardonic spin on the deadly conflict.
Screenshots posted by eHacking News indicated a group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army took control of the feed and posted comments and photos in line with similar intrusions at other news organizations.
“UN retracts report of Syrian chemical weapon use: ‘Lab tests confirm it is Jihadi body odor,’” said one tweet, still available in a screenshot on news blogs after being deleted.
Another tweet said: “UN’s Ban Ki Moon condemns Syria for being struck by israel: ‘It was in the way of Jewish missiles.’”
The Onion did not respond to an AFP request for comment, but later confirmed the attack with a news story offering its own brand of humor:
“Following today’s incident in which the Syrian Electronic Army hacked into The Onion’s Twitter account, sources at America’s Finest News Source confirmed that its Twitter password has been changed to OnionMan77 in order to prevent any future cyber-attacks,” the news article said.
A separate article said the Syrian hacker group “simply wanted to have a little fun before soon dying at the hands of rebel forces.”
Earlier, some comments on Twitter questioned whether the incident was a hoax by the organization itself.
“Either @TheOnion has been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army, or this is its most convincing stunt ever,” one tweet said.
Another user tweeted: “The Onion’s Twitter feed has been hacked and yet it is still a more reliable news source than CNN.”
The Syrian Electronic Army, which appears to be aligned with the government of President Bashar al-Assad, has previously claimed credit for hacking Agence France-Presse, the Associated Press and other news organizations.