The Onion‘s Twitter account has been hacked by a group claiming to be the Syrian Electronic Army. Either that, or the satirical news site has delivered a strange and disorienting joke that has fooled at least a few major websites, and many Twitter users.
Strange tweets started appearing from The Onion website’s Twitter account Monday afternoon, some containing anti-Israel statements. Those tweets were removed from the Twitter feed an hour later, but here’s a screen grab of some of them:
Someone claiming to be a member of the Syrian Electronic Army, who called himself Th3 Pr0, then took credit for the rogue Tweets and contacted a writer at Business Insider with a screenshot from the attack.
— Adam Taylor (@mradamtaylor) May 6, 2013
If the attack is from the group that calls itself the Syrian Electronic Army, it would be the latest in a series of Twitter hacks the group has made against high-profile media organizations.
The same group targeted the Twitter account belonging to The Associated Press newswire service. It managed to tweet: “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” The president was fine, but the fake tweet was enough to send stocks tumbling momentarily.
The group has also claimed responsibility for past attacks against The Guardian, BBC, France 24 TV and National Public Radio in the United States.
UPDATE: The Onion has responded to the apparent hacking in just the manner you might expect of a satirical news site. Among a trio of new articles shared by the site this afternoon following the earlier Twitter turmoil: The Onion’s Tips On How To Prevent Your Major Media Site From Being Hacked (“Well, firing your IT person is certainly not a bad place to start”) and Onion Twitter Password Changed To OnionMan77 (“‘That Ought To Do It,’ Company Sources Confirm”).