Friday saw a unique display of cyber warfare, when TIME magazine's Twitter account and the Person of the Year Poll were hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army.
The pro-Assad hacktivist group briefly hijacked the magazine's Twitter feeds in response to a critical description of the controversial President's candidacy for its Person of the Year Award, reported Techworm.
"Syrian Electronic Army was here via @Official_SEA16. Next time write a better word about the Syrian president #SEA," the group tweeted from TIME's official account. While the tweet was soon deleted by the magazine, the attack has taken place amidst scrutiny regarding the TIME's polling methods.
The bone of contention arose when TIME magazine criticized Assad's rule and policies. "Syria's ruler presided over a bloody year, shrugging off international concerns over the use of chemical weapons as the death toll of his country's civil war eclipsed 100,000," TIME described Assad, according to The Daily Dot.
SEA also posted a message on its official Twitter page after hacking TIME's account. "We closed @TIME vote temporarily while they edit the Syrian president description on the website #SEA," it tweeted.
SEA is known to target American media establishments that display anti-Assad material and has pulled similar stunts like this. It has hacked the websites of BBC, Al Jazeera, NPR and The DailyDot in the past.
The group usually uses email phishing attacks that trick the employees into providing their personal login to SEA. However, the method used to hack TIME is unclear.