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article imageSyrian Electronic Army hits parody news site, The Onion

By Anne Sewell     May 7, 2013 in Internet
When the Syrian Electronic Army hacked the Twitter account of The Onion (the satirical, parody news website), at first people thought it was just the "normal" news. Since then both sides have confirmed the attack, with ever-increasingly morbid "humor."
The Syrian Electronic Army, which supports Syrian President Bashar Assad, tweeted, among other things, “UN retracts report of Syrian chemical weapon use: Lab tests confirm it is Jihadi body odor.”
While the Onion was tweeting such gems as, "Scientists Discover 90 Percent Of Earth's Atmosphere Made From Thoughts, Prayer" and "Seedless Watermelon Coming To Grips With Fact It'll Never Be Able To Have Kids," the Syrian Electronic Army inserted their own little treasures.
While the hacked tweets have since been deleted, TechCrunch managed to get hold of a screen capture of some of them:
The Syrian Electronic Army attacked the Onion s twitter feed.
The Syrian Electronic Army attacked the Onion's twitter feed.
Twitter screen capture
They also posted a meme showing President Barack Obama saying "I don't always fund Al-Qaeda" adding "But when I do I prefer to call them "Rebels.""
The Onion got revenge in full parody mode almost instantly with a headline: "Syrian Electronic Army Has A Little Fun Before Inevitable Upcoming Deaths At Hands Of Rebels."
And went on to say that the Syrian Electronic Army had confirmed that they just wanted to have some fun before dying at the hands of rebel forces, "quoting" their spokesman as saying:
“We figured that before they bust in here and execute every single one of us, we might as well have a good time and post some silly tweets about Israel from a major media outlet’s feed.”
Adding that the spokesperson and his cohorts “had a few good laughs” and "are now fully prepared for their painful and undoubtedly horrific deaths in the coming days."
“I mean, we definitely don’t have much time left, so we thought, hey, let’s just enjoy ourselves before getting blown away by rockets, decapitated, beaten to death, or hung during public executions. Why not, right?”
They concluded by stating that at the time of going to press, "violent screams and pleas for mercy were reportedly overheard as rebel troops broke into the Syrian Electronic Army’s hideout."
The Syrian Electronic Army apparently confessed their involvement to the New York Times. A member with the hacker handle Th3 Pr0 told the news service that they went after the Onion in revenge, after a parody story they published about Assad which was titled: "Hi, In The Past 2 Years, You Have Allowed Me To Kill 70,000 People."
In an e-mail to the New York Times the hacker wrote: “The Onion is a satire news organization and quite often is more trusted to reflect the news than the corporate media is known to.”
“Recently they have published an article that savages Syria and its current circumstances. This hurt the feelings of many Syrians who relied on it to tell the truth in a funny way. We hoped that our effort to correct their news would draw attention to the fact that it was likely that an outside decision was involved in changing The Onion’s tune.”
“We hope people take it in good humor and understand our people’s suffering,” he added. “The Onion can do a much better job reporting the truth through its satire. Unfortunately even they seem to be biased.”
Twitter is reportedly working to develop a two-factor authentication system to prevent attacks of the kind recently made by the Syrian Electronic Army. In recent weeks they have hacked the Twitter accounts of several media outlets, including Associated Press, NPR, CBS, the Guardian, and the BBC. When hacking the account of AP, they sent out a false "breaking" news tweet claiming that the White House had been bombed and President Barack Obama had been injured. This news then caused a plunge in the stock market until it was confirmed as fake news.
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