Anonymous hacks Syrian President's email, reveals weak password

By Lee Kaelin on February 8, 2012, 8:30 AM

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is facing increased pressure from world leaders to step down, became Anonymous' latest target after the hacktivist group leaked his email account and reveled his password.

President al-Assad's emails were among 78 other account details from staff members posted on Pastebin by Anonymous, revealing that many of them used two of the worlds least secure passwords: 12345 and 123456.

The hackers, some of whom were based in Israel, used relatively simple hacking methods to gain access to the Syrian mail servers according to a source within Anonymous quoted by Forbes.

Among the emails obtained included exchanges between Syrian press attaché at the U.N. Sheherazad Jaafari and Luna Chebel, a former Al Jazeera journalist who now works at Assad’s bureau, discussing tactics ahead of the December interview with Barbara Walters of ABC. Israeli newspaper Haaretz has since published the full content of the email exchange (PDF) on their website.

"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-organized 'police force.' American psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear that there are 'mistakes' done and now we are 'fixing it.'," wrote Jaafari in one of the emails.

The way US law enforcement has dealt with Wall Street protestors was also mentioned. “It's worth mentioning also what is happening now in Wall Street and the way the demonstrations are been suppressed by policemen, police dogs and beatings […] Syria doesn't have a policy to torture people, unlike the USA, where there are courses and schools that specialize in teaching policemen and officers how to torture," citing Abu Ghraib in Iraq and electrocution by the electric chair as prime examples. 

These email exchanges give an insight to the contempt shown for international public opinion by the Syrian President's advisors, with one of them stating that the US audience didn’t care about reforms, wouldn’t understand them anyway and had no interest in doing so. 

This is not the first time Anonymous has attacked the Syrian regime. Last September they defaced multiple Syrian government websites, following on from hacking the Syrian Defence Ministry the month before.




User Comments: 14

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Guest said:

I wouldn't consider myself being a hacker if the "password" would be 123456 or similar.

Guest said:

I wander if this is real.

Tygerstrike said:

Dear lord I hope this is real. Finally ANON is taking an interest in a situation that needs their particular form of hacktivism. Im sure they have other info on Syria as well. The ppl of Syria need ANON to help get the FULL story out about what is going on there. In this instance I applaude ANON. Maybe there was a change in the "leadership" of ANON. Maybe they have moved away from pranks to actual intellegence gathering.

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

thats so cool...

go go Annon...

lchu12 lchu12 said:

"Syria doesn't have a policy to torture people, unlike the USA"

Yes I'm sure Syria's government doesn't beat or torture people.

Mindwraith said:

lchu12 said:

"Syria doesn't have a policy to torture people, unlike the USA"

Yes I'm sure Syria's government doesn't beat or torture people.

The point is that torture is discouraged by the syrian police. if it ever does happen, it has to be done 'off the books'. unlike america where police are legally allowed to pepper spray innocent people under their own discretion.

Uvindu said:

Mindwraith said:

lchu12 said:

"Syria doesn't have a policy to torture people, unlike the USA"

Yes I'm sure Syria's government doesn't beat or torture people.

The point is that torture is discouraged by the syrian police. if it ever does happen, it has to be done 'off the books'. unlike america where police are legally allowed to pepper spray innocent people under their own discretion.

+1 - Totally Agree. In America, they've got the right to do so, but in Syria, despite whether it happens or not, It is definitely not legal...

treetops treetops said:

To be fair USA policemen do not train in torture. I am ashamed to admit the military does, well im more ashamed they openly admit to it. Every military tortures on some level but making it publicly known as part of training is foolish. By the way its not our soldiers its like the CIA who tortures.It is not part of USA regular military training. Men in black coats with insanely high clearance march in take over.

p.s. I support occupy wall street but when the park closes you leave or get pepper sprayed, a lot of other places in the world might just put a bullet in your head. Pepper spraying people who are breaking the law and refuse to comply is not torture.

Guest said:

I wondered the same thing. After all, most of this information only serves to bolster Assad's previous statements regarding the killing of his people. Takes swipes at the West, runs contrary to what most of the worlds media has been reporting and almost seems to try and vent some civil unrest by claiming that some "mistakes were made" by security forces regarding the first protests.

The guy is facing a crisis and he lost what..a few email passwords and addresses? Pretty cheap price for a good shot at some disinformation. Perhaps more has been gleaned from this leak but until I read about something that sounds like a state secret and not something I would read on Yahoo news...color me skeptical.

I think it is worth noting that anybody can take up the Anon mask...anybody.

Hasbean said:

It's got to make you wonder is Anon the new Emmanuel Goldstein?

Guest said:

Schools of america ftw !

Guest said:

I spent 13 years in the Special Forces. Almost 4 of those with the 7th Army in Nam. I can tell that you have never been any form of the Military. IF you were you would never post something so stupid that we were trained to torture anyone during our training, Now I am not saying it didn't happen but even today I can bet you pennies to dollars that there is NO training given to our troop unless they are being trained in intellgence field and then the CIA would do it so not to expose the Military crimes againt humanity. Now every basket has a few bad apple like Abu- Garcia prison but that was the pecticular few MPS and again the CIA. You should not talk about stuff you have no clue what your talking about except wanting to sound ignorant and anti America military. Sad Sad person

fearraza fearraza said:

Guest said:

I spent 13 years in the Special Forces. Almost 4 of those with the 7th Army in Nam. I can tell that you have never been any form of the Military. IF you were you would never post something so stupid that we were trained to torture anyone during our training, Now I am not saying it didn't happen but even today I can bet you pennies to dollars that there is NO training given to our troop unless they are being trained in intellgence field and then the CIA would do it so not to expose the Military crimes againt humanity. Now every basket has a few bad apple like Abu- Garcia prison but that was the pecticular few MPS and again the CIA. You should not talk about stuff you have no clue what your talking about except wanting to sound ignorant and anti America military. Sad Sad person

+1 Thumb

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Dear lord I hope this is real. Finally ANON is taking an interest in a situation that needs their particular form of hacktivism. Im sure they have other info on Syria as well. The ppl of Syria need ANON to help get the FULL story out about what is going on there. In this instance I applaude ANON. Maybe there was a change in the "leadership" of ANON. Maybe they have moved away from pranks to actual intellegence gathering.
The trouble here is, the entire world already knows the the Syrian President is an a**hole of the first magnitude, and nobody's doing anything about it.

So, Anon can hack all they want and accomplish reading his email. While I suppose that could be considered an end in itself, it's still rather pointless.

"Hacktivism" really isn't a substitute for air support. Not even for a cruise missile. They probably can't even give out his personal information and ruin his credit.

Although, they did earn a bit of respect from me for trying....

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