The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has claimed to have compromised the Twitter account belonging to Skype, which the pro-Assad hacktivist group used on Wednesday to advise people against using Microsoft services, such as Hotmail and Outlook.
“Don't use Microsoft emails (hotmail,outlook), They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments. More details soon #SEA,” the SEA posted to the Skype Twitter account. The post has since been removed.
The hacktivists also appear to have compromised Skype's WordPress dashboard, according to a tweet by former Reuters editor Matthew Keys. His post shows a screenshot of the dashboard that, he says, came from the SEA.
Microsoft asserts that user information is safe.
“We recently became aware of a targeted cyber attack that led to access to Skype's social media properties, but these credentials were quickly reset,” a Microsoft spokesperson told SCMagazine.com in a Thursday email. “No user information was compromised.”
The Microsoft spokesperson did not respond to an SCMagazine.com query regarding SEA's claims that Microsoft is selling data to governments, but did link to a Dec. 4, 2013 post by Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president with Microsoft, in which he highlights measures being taken by Microsoft to protect customer information from government snooping.
The SEA has become well-known for compromising credentials – particularly for U.S. media groups, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post – through phishing emails, so much that the hacktivist group was vaulted onto the FBI's "most wanted" list in September.
At the end of 2013, the SEA took credit for compromising the Twitter account belonging to Time, and in mid-November, the hacker group took responsibility for accessing the Vice.com website and altering content.