National Public Radio (NPR) is reporting today that its website and several of its Twitter accounts were compromised beginning around 11 PM ET Monday night, and that the intruders changed the headlines on several NPR articles to read "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here," in English. "Some of these stories were distributed to and appeared on NPR Member Station websites," said NPR in a statement published on one of the affected blogs, The Two Way. "We have made the necessary corrections to those stories on NPR.org and are continuing to work with our Member Stations." NPR also reported on the news in its hourly audio news summaries this morning, but did not say whether any information had been compromised.
A Twitter account operating under the handle @Official_SEA and purporting to represent the "Syrian Electronic Army," posted a message Monday night claiming responsibility for the online vandalism, writing: "We will not say why we attacked @NPR ... They know the reason and that enough," later calling out NPR reporter Deborah Amos, who has reported on the violent conflict in Syria and its effects on the population.
Online vandals identifying themselves with this group have previously defaced websites and Twitter accounts of other news outlets including the BBC in March, and prior to that, Al Jazeera and Reuters, as well as Harvard University. People operating under the name "Syrian Electronic Army" have been active since at least 2011, and are allegedly supporters of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which has been engaged in a bloody conflict since March 2011 against opposition forces seeking democratic reform in that country.