"Hacktivist" group Anonymous has claimed another scalpe, breaking into the mail servers of Syria's Ministry of Presidential Affairs. The group was able to access nearly 78 inboxes of staff members under Syria's President, Bashar al-Assad. The group then leaked hundreds of emails, according to Israeli newspaper, Haaretz.
The attack was an easy one as one of the most common passwords to Assad's office accounts was "12345."
To put that in context, that password was recently revealed to be the second weakest password used in 2011; the word "password" took the top spot.
The attack on Bashar al-Assad from Anonymous comes at a tense time for the Syrian President as he has been receiving intense pressure from other world leaders to step down from power this week as her orders the military and its snipers to shoot anyone in opposition to his rule. The death toll in Syria is approximately 6000, in one of the last holdouts of the Arab Spring.
One of the emails revealed by Anonymous was a document preparing Assad for his December 2011 interview with Barbara Walters on ABC. In it he denies that Syrian citizens were being killed under his orders: "We don't kill our people ... no government in the world kills its people, unless it's led by a crazy person."
See his interview with Barbara Walters here.
In the email, the Syrian spokesperson to the U.N., Sheherazad Jaafari, advised Bouthania Shababan, Assad's media adviser, what Assad should say in his interview with ABC in order to manipulate Americans.
"It is hugely important and worth mentioning that 'mistakes' have been done in the beginning of the crises because we did not have a well-organized 'police force.' American psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear that there are 'mistakes' done and now we are 'fixing it.' It's worth mentioning also what is happening now in Wall Street and the way the demonstrations are been suppressed by policemen, police dogs and beatings." (SIC)
"The major points and dimensions that have been mentioned a lot in the American media are: The idea of violence has been one of the major subjects brought up in every article. They use the phrases 'The Syrian government is killing its own people,' 'Tanks have been used in many cities,' 'Airplanes have been used to suppress the peaceful demonstrations,' and 'Security forces are criminals and bloody."
"The comments that follow any article in the American Media are a very important tool to use in the interview. The Americans now believe that their government has failed two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are asking their government to stop interfering in other countries businesses and sovereignty and to start taking care of the American internal issues."
"The email by Jaafari also advised that the Syrian President should take advantage of the fact that YouTube and Facebook have now become open in order to make the American audience think that Syria restricting press entry is a measure to avoid misrepresentation of Syria by foreign journalists."
Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.
SDL Tridion is a global leader in Web Content Management (WCM) solutions.
Webroot provides industry leading security solutions for consumers, enterprises and small and medium businesses worldwide.
Absolute® Software specialises in technology and services for the management and security of mobile computers and smartphones.
Teneo is an infrastructure optimization company, providing solutions that help customers with the management, performance and virtualization of...