The Arabic language State TV network of Iran, Al Alam reported that their social media accounts have been hacked and a fake message has been posted on their website that a rebel leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi who is an ally of Iran has been killed in Yemen.
The coverage for the crises in Yemen since the air attacks on Shiite Houthi movement by Saudi Arabia and its allies was conducted is being covered by Al Alam. These air attackes have resulted in tensions between Iran, which is predominantly Shiite and Saudi Arabia which has Sunni majority. Saudi Arabia has been trying to create its influence in the region ever since there have been sectarian violence in the region.
The news of the death of Abdel Malek al-Houthi was tweeted by using the Twitter account of Al Alam on 11th April and after that there were several more posts which gave the contact information of the reporters of the channel. Al Alam is still trying the restore their account.
The YouTube account of the channel has also been hacked, which has a video praising the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz through a song. It has Saudi Arabia’s flag in the background. The Al Alam netword was blocked by Saudi Arabia and Egypt based Arabian satellite television operators in November last year. The tensions between Iran and the Arab forces has been increasing since 2003, when US invaded Iraq which resulted in the rise of Iran supported armed groups in the region.
This attack is the next in line of several similar hacking attacks being conducted against government agencies and other state operated entities. These attacks reveal the vulnerabilities of the computer hosting services which are being frequently targeted.