"That could possibly be a significant turning point in the development of cyber warfare."
Some security experts doubt Syria's fragmented opposition would have had the capacity to access the e-mails without outside help, but others say those in power in Damascus may simply have been careless. The Syrian opposition say they were given details of the passwords by an internal regime source. It is a tool that could become increasingly popular. According To Guardian:-
There are several email conversations in which "Sam" and Bashar are clearly identified as the same person. In November, for example, Hadeel al-Ali, Assad's press assistant, emailed email@example.com about an interview Assad had given to a student activist, Hussam Arian, six months earlier. She attached a picture of Arian with Assad, and screenshots of the student's Facebook page, which featured the article. She said to "Sam": "I took many shots of the page of Hussam Arian and the article he wrote about you."
Another email to the address from Asma relates: "Fares closed all your twitter accounts!" Fares Kallas is Asma al-Assad's assistant, and other emails in the chain show that he had asked Twitter to close several fake accounts purporting to belong to Bashar.
In Asma's case, there are a host of emails sent between firstname.lastname@example.org and Asma al-Assad's family which offer compelling proof. Many emails sent to "ak" from her family begin "Hi Asma", and one of her family's email header lists email@example.com as Asma Akhras, Asma al-Assad's maiden name.
There are many other examples of family members sending affectionate emails to Asma at the "ak" account. On 21 November 2011, one of her brothers sent her photos of their father's recent birthday party, with the subject line "Dad's birthday 2011". The photos show Asma together with identifiable family members standing in a kitchen. The brother also circulated the photos to her other brother.
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