The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a hacker group that claims to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has hacked into Skype and posted contact details of Microsoft's Chief Executive Stevel Ballmer on Skype's social media account on Twitter.
— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) January 1, 2014
The amorphous hacker collective, in an indirect reference to the NSA spying programme, posted anti-surveillance messages, telling people not to use email services of Microsoft, the owner of Skype. #SEA claimed the US-based organisation is monitoring their users' accounts and selling the information to the governments. "Don't use Microsoft emails (hotmail, outlook). They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments," the hackers posted on Skype's Twitter account.
Though the post has since been removed, Skype confirmed the incident and stated: "You may have noticed our social media properties were targeted today. No user info was compromised. We're sorry for the inconvenience."
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
In the past, the SEA has targeted several media companies, including BBC, CNN, Reuters, AP and The Guardian. The SEA, on its website, has posted a video of its achievements for the year 2013 that saw them hacking into various high-profile websites. The group has quite a long list of achievements to show for the year 2013. Watch it here.
The New Year seems to have started on a bad note for Microsoft. It was only last month that Microsoft joined seven other technology companies at The Whitehouse to rein in President Barack Obama over the US surveillance program.
Since the month of June 2013 remained eventful for the US, with Edward Snowden's leaks detailing the National Security Agency's vast data collection programs. His disclosures prompted an endless torrent of exposés in major publications around the world. For freedom from spying and the fight against surveillance, the hacks by #SEA certainly promise an eventful 2014 as well.