Hackers took over social media accounts of Iranian state Al Alam TV

Pierluigi Paganini April 13, 2015

Unknown hackers took over social media accounts of Iranian state Al Alam TV spreading fake news of the death of an Iran-allied rebel leader in Yemen.

The Iranian Arabic-language state TV network Al Alam announced that its Twitter account had been hacked on Sunday.

The attackers abused the account to spread a false report to post the news that an Iran-allied rebel leader in Yemen had died. The Al Alam TV aired numerous reports on the crisis in Yemen since Saudi Arabia and Arab allies started their operations against the Shi’ite Houthi movement.

The alliance launched a series of air strikes this month that raised tensions between Shi’ite Muslim Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia.

The hackers tweeted via the Al Alam’s account the fake news of the death of the Houthi leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi. Other tweets sent from the account disclosed contact information for the Al Alam TV reporters working in the region.

Al Alam TV hacked 2

The attackers took over also the YouTube channel of the Al Alam TV and published a video playing a song praising Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz with the Saudi flag as a backdrop.

Al Alam TV is working to restore its social media accounts.

The situation in the area is very complicated, a cyber attack against a broadcaster could undermine already unstable equilibrium.

“U.S.-allied Arab governments have watched with alarm as Iran’s influence has spread in the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and the rise of Iranian-backed armed groups throughout the region.” states a post published by the Reuters that announced the hack.

This is last attack in order of time that targeted the Al Alam, in November 2014 the TV station was taken off the air by Arab satellite operators based in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Last week a group linked to the ISIS hacked the French broadcaster TV5Monde disrupting its transmission and abusing of its social media accounts for propaganda.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  Al Alam TV, Hacking)

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