Sometimes, irony adorns Twitter like the sugar on a doughnut.
On Saturday morning, however, the Microsoft News Twitter account offered a curious instruction. It read: "Don't use Microsoft emails(hotmail,outlook),They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments. #SEA @Official_SEA16."
The accusation might be referred to as a Reverse Scroogling. Or, perhaps, a Microsofting.
As to the perpetrators, the "SEA" hashtag points to the Syrian Electronic Army, a hacking group sympathetic to President Bashar Assad.
The SEA has operated for some time now, hacking its way into places such as
Indeed, this is the second time this year that the SEA has targeted Microsoft. On New Year's Day,with the same wording as today.
A follow-up tweet Saturday, also issued through the Microsoft News Twitter account, showed an image of the Syrian flag with the message: "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here via @Official_SEA16 #SEA."
I have contacted Microsoft to wonder what might have happened here and will update, should I hear back.
Update, 3 p.m. PT: A Microsoft spokesperson offered this statement: "Microsoft is aware of targeted cyberattacks that temporarily affected the Xbox Support and Microsoft News Twitter accounts. The accounts were quickly reset and we can confirm that no customer information was compromised."