Microsoft’s Skype had its Twitter account, Facebook page and blog compromised on Wednesday, with the Syrian Electronic Army taking control of all three to spread its anti-spying/anti-Microsoft email message.
Back in the summer, leaked slides from the NSA came out indicating that the government agency could wiretap Skype video calls thanks to a “backdoor” in the popular service. The Guardian reported at the time:
The NSA has devoted substantial efforts in the last two years to work with Microsoft to ensure increased access to Skype, which has an estimated 663 million global users.
One document boasts that Prism monitoring of Skype video production has roughly tripled since a new capability was added on 14 July 2012. “The audio portions of these sessions have been processed correctly all along, but without the accompanying video. Now, analysts will have the complete ‘picture’,” it says.
Skype had reportedly been part of the Prism program since February 2011, eight months before Microsoft acquired the company.
When the Syrian Electronic Army took over Skype’s Twitter account, the message was: Stop spying on people! via Syrian Electronic Army @Official_SEA16 #SEA cc @FBIPressOffice spr.ly/6019di9c.” The link pointed to the Skype blog, which said, “Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army.. Stop Spying!” and “Don’t use Microsoft emails (hotmail, outlook), They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments.”
The message was still available in RSS readers like Feedly this morning:
A similar message appeared on Skype’s Facebook page.
Skype got control of its properties back, and posted the following to Twitter last night:
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
As of the time of this writing, the Skype blog is inaccessible, simply redirecting to Skype’s homepage.
Microsoft has run ad campaigns for its Outlook.com service (formerly Hotmail), slamming the privacy practices of competitor Google, implying that its own are superior.