— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) January 1, 2014
The Syrian Electronic army, a collective of hackers that support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, hacked the Twitter, Facebook and WordPress accounts of the internet telephone/video service Skype to post messages against using Microsoft-owned email services, claiming they are being monitored.
Under Skype’s Twitter and Facebook handles, the SEA tweeted Monday, “Don’t use Microsoft emails(hotmail,outlook),They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments.” That was followed by a link to a post written by the group on Skype’s blog that read, “Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army..Stop Spying!” The SEA later tweeted out Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s contact information through its own account.
Skype, which is owned by Microsoft, responded by tweeting an apology and reassuring that “no user info was compromised.” The company did not comment on the accusation.
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 Guardian reported in July that Microsoft had handed the NSA access to encrypted messages through its services, such as Hotmail and Outlook. The access also allowed interception and collection of Skype video calls through the agency’s PRISM program, which had also given them access to the data of several other tech companies.