Hackers aligned with Anonymous have exposed hundreds of e-mail messages from the webmail server of Syria’s Ministry of Presidential Affairs, the support ministry for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Among the exposed e-mail messages was a set of talking points for Assad’s interview with Barbara Walters in December 2011.
A translation of the e-mail sent by Sheherazad Jaafari, a press attaché at the Syrian mission to the United Nations, to Assad aide and former Al Jazeera journalist Luna Chebel, provided helpful hints for Assad to manipulate American opinion about what was going on in Syria. The message suggested that “it is hugely important and worth mentioning that ‘mistakes’ have been done in the begining of the crises because we did not have a well-organized ‘police force.’ American psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear there are ‘mistakes’ done and now we are ‘fixing it.'”
Jaafari suggested comparing what was happening in Syria to US law enforcement’s response to the Occupy Wall Street protests.
Along with the release of these e-mails, Anonymous also exposed the passwords of 78 accounts on the Ministry’s servers. Of the passwords revealed, 31 were “12345” and a number were minor variations on that. Some of the other passwords in the set included:
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Anonymous exposes e-mails of Syrian presidential aides