Saudi television network hit by Facebook hackers

“The Syrian electronic army” was here. 


Kris Holt


Published Mar 27, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 7:28 pm CDT

Television news channel Al Arabiya has fallen victim to hackers on its English Facebook page.

In a statement posted on its website, the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya said the hackers changed the cover photo to the page’s banner and added posts in Arabic about unverified clashes within Syria, confusing readers expecting to see news about the Middle East in English.

“Posts on the page surrounding the conflict in Syria have provided our readers with false news on attacks in Syria and deceptive information on Saudi government orders.

“The posts included news about clashes between the Free Syria Army and the Syrian regime security forces, which Al Arabiya cannot verify. The news is being falsely attributed to Al Arabiya sources.”

The hackers accused Al Arabiya TV of being involved in “the destruction of Egypt and Libya” and of broadcasting “venomous, Brotherhood, Zionist, thoughts, in Egypt and the Arab World,” according to ZDNet.

The television network has managed to regain control of its page. While the organization did not speculate on where the attack came from, it noted that a statement was posted on Facebook by the hackers stating, “The Syrian electronic army” was here.

It’s hardly the first time Al Arabiya has fallen victim to attacks. The company has been subject to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks online, and its broadcast transmitting frequency has been jammed. The most recent of these attacks, which took place in February, led to Al Arabiya changing its frequencies on satellite operator Arabsat.

Photo by Don Hankins

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 27, 2012, 12:00 pm CDT