Supporters of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad hacked the official BBC Weather Twitter account and the BBC Arabic for almost three hours .
The hackers, going by the name of “Syrian Electronic Army”, posted a series of spoof weather reports attacking opponents of the Assad regime, including Turkey, Qatar, Israel, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and UK.
A BBC spokeswoman confirmed the account, @bbcweather, with a following of more than 57,000 followers, was an official account and had been hacked.
3 hours later, the account indicated the BBC had regained control, apologised for the disruption and said it had resumed normal services.
The BBC Arabic account @BBCArabicOnline and @bbcradioulster were also hacked.
The hackers claimed to be part of the “Syrian Electronic Army”, which operates its own Twitter account and website. Their first tweet from the @bbcweather account, posted at around 13.00 on Thursday afternoon, said: “Syrian Electronic Army Was Here via @Official_SEA #SEA #Syria”.
Their website follows the Assad regime in labelling the Free Syrian Army and other opposition forces as “terrorists” and accuses Western and Arab media and NGOs of fabricating news about the ongoing civil war. It also boasts about previous alleged hacking victims, including the French news agency AFP and Human Rights Watch.
The BBC is the most recent high profile victim of Twitter account hijacking.