Turkish state media hacked to attack Egypt opposition figure
Turkish state media has announced that its Twitter account was hacked and used to publish images and a statement aimed at discrediting an Egyptian opposition figure.
Anadolu Agency said on Saturday that its Arabic-language Twitter account had been compromised on Friday evening to post inflammatory material against Istanbul-based dissident Ayman Nour.
"The Arabic-language Anadolu Agency Twitter account was hacked for around five minutes and used publish material against Egyptian politician Ayman Nour," the state-run agency tweeted.
"Anadolu asserts that has not published anything such as this and that what was published was a result of the hack," it said, extending an apology to Nour.
The compromised Twitter account posted private images of Nour lying in bed dressed in an undershirt with a dog on his chest and an image of him behind a young woman taking a selfie with her phone.
It also posted a statement allegedly penned by staff at Nour's al-Sharq TV Channel, accusing the opposition figure of squandering the channel's funds to hire prostitutes, drink alcohol, gamble and pamper his dogs at the expense of their livelihoods.
Nour has said the allegations in the statement are "a pure fabrication", blaming Egyptian authorities for the attack.
In a phone-in interview with al-Sharq, Nour said the hack was a retaliation from Egypt's intelligence service over his channel's critical coverage of the ongoing presidential race in Cairo.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is virtually certain of winning a second, four-year term in the March 26-28 vote, after a string of would-be challengers have been arrested, forced out or quit the race.
Nour, ran against Egypt's long-ruling President Hosni Mubarak in 2005, in the country's first multi-candidate election.
Nour lost by a huge margin amid widespread allegations of vote-rigging and was jailed in December of that year. He is the former leader of the Ghad Party, which is the only party fielding a candidate in the upcoming polls.
Nour is now a harsh critic of Sisi's rule and lives in exile in Turkey, after he fled the country following the 2013 military takeover led by Sisi, when he was defence minister.
Egyptian pro-government media have accused Nour of having links to the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood and attempting to acquire funds from the Islamist movement to bankroll al-Sharq TV.