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Syrian Electronic Army 'retaliates to NSA spying' with Obama Twitter hack

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) is back, and the hacking group has once again taken aim at the White House.

As first noted by The Blaze, an older donation page on Barack Obama's campaign website temporarily redirected visitors to a blank page that said "Hacked by SEA" over the weekend.

The group's campaign, however, also extended to Obama's Twitter and Facebook accounts. On its own Twitter feed, the SEA posted a screenshot of the Gmail account of Suzanne Snurpus, who works on "We accessed many Obama campaign emails accounts to assess his terrorism capabilities," the SEA wrote in an accompanying tweet.

The SEA was also able to sign in to the Obama campaign's Blue State Digital (BSD) account, a firm that helps candidates with online campaigning and organising. Access to BSD, according to Mashable, allowed the SEA to alter the links being posted to Obama's Twitter and Facebook accounts. For a time, those links redirected to a video of violence in Syria, but they appear to be working correctly now.

In total, the SEA allegedly hacked eight email accounts in order to pull off the hack, the group told Mashable. Back in July, the group targeted the White House, securing its HootSuite login and password. Passwords it secured for the @WhiteHouse account, however, were all old. "You were lucky this time," the SEA wrote at the time.

"Obama doesn't have any ethical issues with spying on the world, so we took it upon ourselves to return the favor," the SEA tweeted, in reference to the recent NSA spying scandal.

The Syrian Electronic Army emerged in September 2012. The hackers reportedly started attacking Western websites in retaliation for Innocence of Muslims, an anti-Islamic video that resulted in violent demonstrations in the Middle East. It has since been targeting news sites it believes are reporting news hostile to the Syrian government, including the New York Times, the Financial Times, The Guardian, the BBC, and even The Onion. Chat apps like Tango and Viber were also attacked.

The SEA's usual move is to send emails to those it believes might have log-in information for desired social-networking accounts. Those emails include malicious attachments or phishing links, however, so anyone who engages with them runs the risk of providing the hackers with easy access to their accounts.