Knight Center
Knight Center


Pro-Chávez hackers strike again, tweeting the "death" of opposition news editor

Sebastiana Barráez joined the growing list of Venezuelan journalists suffering cyber attacks when hackers allegedly accessed her Twitter account on Nov. 30, tweeting false messages about the death of the director of the newspaper Tal Cual, Teodoro Petkoff, reported the Press and Society Institute (IPYS in Spanish).

Barráez, whose e-mail was also hacked, said the attack was likely retribution for articles she had published on supposed killings committed by a military group in the state of Apure. The hacker network N33, a pro-Chávez group known for invading the social networks of opposition members, took responsibility for the attack, according to IPYS.

Tal Cual said that the invasion of Barráez's accounts was part of a wider strategy to "use journalists and personalities with credibility to spread rumors against opposition leaders and candidates."

Politically motivated online attacks on Venezuelan journalists have become increasingly frequent. At the beginning of September, three other journalists critical of President Chávez had their Twitter accounts hacked.

See a series of tweets about the case below.

  1. Con mucho dolor Informo que nuestro querido amigo Teodoro Petkoff Murió a las 5:20Pm. Paz a sus restos.

    November 30, 2011 5:05:07 PM EST
  2. Desde TalCual desmentimos la "muerte" de Teodoro Petkoff. El director de TalCual está más vivo que nunca.

    November 30, 2011 5:27:58 PM EST
  3. A @SebastianaB le hackearon sus correos y cuenta en twitter. Favor no creer en las informaciones q se publicaron después d las 5 y 20

    November 30, 2011 6:00:10 PM EST

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