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Anonymous hacks email of Syrian president

By
Anonymous group

© PA Images

Hacking group Anonymous has breached the security of the Syrian president's email account, after cracking the tough password of '12345'.

President Bashar al-Assad has become the latest target for the hacktivists due to his government's violent crackdown on rebel forces in Syria.

In total, Anonymous hacked into 78 username and password combinations of staff members working for the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The hackers, some of whom were based in Israel, found that 56 of these accounts used one of the world's least secure passwords - '12345' - while a further five added just a '6' to the number string.

Anonymous posted the account details of the staff members online, and published several email exchanges, including one between Syria's UN press attaché Sheherazad Jaafari and president al-Assad's media advisor Bouthaina Shaaban, discussing a forthcoming interview with US television's Barbara Walters.

"It is hugely important and worth mentioning that 'mistakes' have been done in the beginning of the crises because we did not have a well-organised 'police force'," Jaafari advised 10 days before the interview went ahead last December.

"American psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear that there are 'mistakes' done and now we are 'fixing it'."

She added: "Its [sic] worth mentioning also what is happening now in Wall Street and the way the demonstrations are been [sic] suppressed by police men, police dogs and beatings."

In the interview, al-Assad denied that his government had killed its own citizens, but various reports have emerged from the country contracting that claim since the uprising began 11 months ago, particularly with the current escalation in violence.

Last week, Anonymous released a taped conference call between the FBI and UK police, in which officers discussed a major international cyber-crime investigation against hacking groups.

> Anonymous issues warning to Mexican drug cartel

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