Skype's social media accounts hacked in protest against US surveillance

The Microsoft-owned video-calling service had both its Twitter account and its blog hacked by the prolific hacking group

A group of hackers identifying themselves as the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) have briefly taken control of social media platforms belonging to Microsoft-owned Skype.

The blog and Twitter account of the video-call service were both targeted, with the attackers posting messages claiming that Microsoft sells its users’ data to governments.

“Don’t use Microsoft emails (hotmail, outlook), They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments,” said a message posted to Skype’s blog on 1st January. A similar message posted from Skype’s Twitter account was re-tweeted more than 8,000 times.

The company has since deleted the posts and acknowledged the hack, tweeting “You may have noticed our social media properties were targeted today. No user info was compromised. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”

The SEA (a group of hackers supportive of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad) are apparently responding to recent revelations over the US government’s capacity to spy on internet users the world over.

Documents leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed that Microsoft had actively colluded with the NSA and the FBI to provide “backdoor” access to the company’s services, including email clients Outlook and Hotmail, Skype and the cloud service SkyDrive.

Other leaks implicated the complicity of major tech companies including Yahoo, Google, Facebook and Apple. All the companies accused of giving away their users’ data have since refuted the allegations.

Since the revelations America’s top tech companies have grouped together to publicly decry the US government’s surveillance policies and call for a halt to the “bulk data collection of Internet communications”.

In an open letter published by the Reform Government Surveillance group, companies including Google, Apple and Microsoft claimed that the balance between national security and individual freedom “has tipped too far in favour of the state and away from the rights of the individual.”

“Reports about government surveillance have shown there is a real need for greater disclosure and new limits on how governments collect information,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “The US government should take this opportunity to lead this reform effort and make things right.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    2nd Line server support - Microsoft certified

    £25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large organisa...

    IT Support Engineer (1st and 2nd Line) - London

    £22000 - £24000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer (1st...

    Business Intelligence Consultant - Central London - £80,000

    £65000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Consultant - C...

    Front end web developer - URGENT CONTRACT

    £250 - £300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT** Our...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?