UK BROADCASTER the BBC has seen the Twitter account that it uses for weather updates taken over, apparently by Syrian pro-Assad supporters.
The account @bbcweather has been sending out strange messages all morning, most of which have a Syrian flavour.
It looks like the account was compromised at around 1pm. The first message sent out at that time read, "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here via @Official_SEA #SEA #Syria". The next one said, "Long Live #Syria Al-Assad #SEA".
Other messages were vaguely meteorological and jokey in flavour. "Saudi weather station down due to head on-collision with camel," said one.
Two more official BBC accounts have also fallen under the control of the Syrian Electronic Army, BBC Arabic, @BBCArabicOnline, and BBC Radio Ulster, @bbcradioulster. Both of these have issued apologies for their lapse in proper communication.
Apologies to all our followers our account was hacked today.— BBC Radio Ulster(@bbcradioulster) March 21, 2013
Chris Hamilton, social media editor for BBC News has a Twitter feed that is full of "We are aware of..." and "We are working on..." tweets.
Yes, @bbcweather has been hacked. We’re working on it.— Chris Hamilton (@chrishams) March 21, 2013
In reply to one commentator he said, "Account has been hacked, so we don't control it. Working to fix it asap." Another got, "We're aware, working to sort it."
Political activists are increasingly turning to Twitter to vent their frustrations, and this is another example of accounts being taken over by one organisation looking to hurt or upset another.
Earlier this year Twitter had to admit that a hacker attack had put 250,000 of its accounts at risk. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ