This Is Not a Joke: The Onion Hacked by Syrians

Parody site responds with parody

Hackers seized The Onion's Twitter feed on Monday, posting anti-Israel and pro-Syrian government messages to the parody news site's nearly 5 million followers.

Though the incident recalled The Onion's 2009 parody in which it claimed to be under Chinese state ownership, The Onion and The New York Times reported that the attack was indeed real. The satirical news site is the latest to be targeted by a group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army.

The group of hackers, sympathetic to President Bashar al-Assad's regime, claims responsibility for defacing news sites—including Al Jazeera and NPR—that it considers to be hostile to the Syrian government. Recently the group has been targeting high-profile Western news sites such as the Associated Press and the BBC.

Twitter has responded to the issue by working on a two-step verification process, though it has not yet been implemented. Twitter recently warned journalists to step up security by creating more obscure passwords and keeping their email accounts secure.

A member of the Syrian Electronic Army told The New York Times that the hack was a retaliation for The Onion's March parody post from the perspective of President Bashar al-Assad, titled "Hi, In The Past 2 Years, You Have Allowed Me To Kill 70,000 people."

The Onion has already parodied the incident.