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Hackers target Obama's Twitter account links

The link shortener for President Barack Obama's Twitter account appeared to be compromised on Oct. 28, 2013.
Jewel Samad | AFP | Getty Images
The link shortener for President Barack Obama's Twitter account appeared to be compromised on Oct. 28, 2013.

It appears a prominent element of President Barack Obama's Twitter presence was briefly compromised on Monday.

A link sent out from the president's Twitter account @BarackObama was meant to send people to a story on the The Washington Post's website, but instead it sent many of those who clicked to a video on YouTube about terrorism and Syria.

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) claimed responsibility for the breach in a Twitter post.


The link now appears to be working correctly. CNBC has reached out to the White House for comment, but has not yet received a response.

It's important to note that @BarackObama's official Twitter account, which has about 39 million followers, was not hacked, but the link shortener tool that the president's campaign team uses to share links on Twitter was breached.

The link shortener is a third-party tool used by Obama's Organizing for Action grass roots campaign and it is not affiliated with Twitter.

"It appears a custom, third-party URL shortener which OFA uses to produce vanity URLs was compromised, not the Twitter account," a Twitter spokesperson told CNBC.

In another Twitter post Monday, the SEA also said they had gained access to many of Obama's campaign email accounts.


The Syrian Electronic Army has claimed responsibility for several big attacks on media organizations. Most recently, SEA claimed to have been responsible for taking down The New York Times website in August. It also claimed it had taken down Twitter.com's domain registration in August.

(Read more: New York Times website likely taken down by malicious attack )

By CNBC's Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.

Eamon Javers and Eli Langer contributed to this report.

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