Syrian Electronic Army compromises Sky News Android app

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EXCLUSIVE: A screen capture provided to The Desk by a hacker with the Syrian Electronic Army purports to show the developer dashboard for several BSkyB Android applications.

EXCLUSIVE: A screen capture provided to The Desk by a hacker with the Syrian Electronic Army purports to show the developer dashboard for several BSkyB Android applications.

The Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility for a cyber attack on several Android applications for British Sky Broadcasting, including the Sky News app.

A message posted on Google Play, the application store for Google’s Android operating system, read “Syrian Electronic Army Was Here” in several places. Screen shots of what used to be the Sky News app were replaced with various SEA-produced graphics.

The group also targeted the Sky Go app, Sky+ app, Sky Wifi app, Sky Movies app and Sky Sports News app, all for Android.

A hacker with the Syrian Electronic Army confirmed to The Desk the group was responsible for the attack. British Sky Broadcasting Group, the parent company of Sky News, acknowledged the attack via Twitter and encouraged Android users to disable the affected apps.

News of the attack was first reported by ITV News, who is no stranger to the Syrian Electronic Army. A Twitter account used by a local ITV News bureau was compromised in a similar attack on Friday.

The cyber attack comes after reports surfaced that the group was responsible for a failed attack against the systems that control the water supply in the Israel town of Haifa. A hacker with the Syrian Electronic Army told The Desk that those allegations were untrue and had been repudiated in the past.

It was the first time the Syrian Electronic Army had been accused of targeting infrastructure. The Syrian Electronic Army usually targets the websites and social media accounts of western news organizations. In a conversation with The Desk published several weeks ago, a hacker with the group said they targeted news organizations that spread “unfounded, fabricated, forged” reports on the civil war in Syria.

[Update: A spokesperson with British Sky Broadcasting tells The Next Web that it did not send out a tweet urging people to remove its compromised Android apps. The spokesman told the site that the tweet was sent out from a compromised Twitter feed and that there is "no need to remove them from an Android device."]

ITV News: Sky News android apps hacked by SEA
The Desk: Syrian Electronic Army denies charges of cyber attack against Israel

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