President Obama’s social media accounts were (sort of) hijacked on Monday afternoon, thanks to the Syrian Electronic Army. The incident happened because of a URL shortener the president’s team uses to promote Organizing for Action (OFA), a pro-Obamacare campaign.
The modified links, which begin with OFA.BO, are supposed to go toward OFA materials. Instead, visitors were led to a 24-minute video about the Syrian civil war on the Syrian Electronic Army’s website.
The original tweet with the compromised URL was deleted shortly after the issue was discovered, and was replaced instead with a link to a Washington Post article about immigration. The group, and Twitter, were quick to assure that President Obama’s Twitter account wasn’t actually hacked.
CNET talked with a spokesperson from Twitter, who explained, “The account’s custom, third-party URL shortener which it uses to produce vanity URLs was compromised, not the Twitter account.”
While it didn’t actually hack President Obama’s account, the Syrian Electronic Army got a good laugh out of the situation. The group’s official Twitter account posted a confirmation that it was responsible, saying, “Thank you Obama for redirecting people to the #SEA website OFA.BO/SEA #SyrianElectronicArmy.”