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LONDON – Several BBC Twitter accounts have been hacked into and hijacked by a group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army, the public broadcaster reported Thursday.
The public broadcaster said its weather, Arabic and Radio Ulster social-media accounts had seen a series of fake tweets roll out beginning March 21.
The accounts are the latest in a series of large corporate Twitter feeds to have been breached and come as recent reports of hacking allegations made by the BBC World Service and the U.S. media against China and South Korean broadcasters against North Korea hit the headlines around the globe.
The BBC said it was aware of the problem and was working on a fix for its Twitter problems.
A BBC spokesperson told BBC News: “We are aware that in the past few hours several BBC Twitter accounts have been hacked. We are actively working on this and expect it to be resolved shortly.”
Alongside the normal tweets from BBC weather, other tweets emerged including, “Saudi weather station down due to head-on collision with camel.”
Another read: “Chaotic weather forecast for Lebanon as the government decides to distance itself from the Milky Way.”
The group claiming responsibility has previously spread messages in support of Syrian president Bashar-al-Assad.
The BBC’s Arabic and Radio Ulster feeds were also affected.
BBC Arabic editor-in-chief Faris Couri said in a statement: “Today at around 11.00GMT, BBC Arabic’s twitter account @BBCArabicOnline was hacked. Since then, several pro-Assad news tweets were published by the account. We strongly condemn such action and apologise to our audiences.”
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Thomas Brodie Sangster