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CBS Twitter hacks said to be launched by pro-Assad group

Published: Updated:

Twitter accounts operated by the U.S. broadcaster CBS have reportedly been hijacked by pro-Assad hackers, in the latest cyber-attack apparently launched by a group loyal to the Syrian government.

Social-media accounts linked to the CBS shows 60 Minutes and 48 Hours were taken over by hackers before being suspended by Twitter.

Messages that appeared on the @60Minutes account reportedly included: "The US government is sponsoring a coup in Venezuela and a terrorist war in Syria" and "Obama wants to destroy the Syrian and American people. We must stop this beast."

Other messages claimed that the "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here via @SyrianCyberArmy", according to the Independent.

A group operating under the name Syrian Electronic Army previously claimed responsibility for hacking Twitter accounts run by the BBC and NPR, as well as the English Facebook page of Al Arabiya, as well as other accounts.

The Syrian Electronic Army has previously put out messages in support of the Syrian president.

Both @60Minutes and @48Hours accounts have now been suspended. A third Twitter feed, @CBSDenver, was also said to be hijacked, although that feed is still live.

CBS News confirmed that some of its accounts had been hijacked on its official Twitter feed. It reposted a message from Matthew Polevoy, who describes himself as social media producer for the U.S. broadcasting firm.

“Appears 60 Minutes account compromised again. Please disregard messages posted,” Polevoy wrote. “We've suspended the 60 Minutes account while we investigate with Twitter… Obviously, those messages posted did NOT come from 60 Minutes staff. This is serious matter and we're treating it as such.”