More Venezuelan opposition journalists' Twitter accounts hacked

The Venezuelan hacker group N33 took over the Twitter accounts of two journalists critical of President Hugo Chávez, reported the weekly magazine Sexto Poder. The group is also responsible for other cyber attacks against opposition members, and is considered a growing threat to freedom of expression in the South American country.

Orian Brito, of the website LaPatilla.com, had his Twitter account hacked after accusing the Venezuelan government of recruiting children for armed militias in his column for Reportero 24, according to Clases de Periodismo. Journalist Alberto Rodríguez, director of Sexto Poder's website, was also the target of a cyber attack when he was locked out of his own account on Jan. 28.

On the evening of Jan. 31, messages threatening journalists critical of Chávez began to appear on Brito's Twitter feed, along with photos and private conversations by the reporter, according to the National Association of Journalists of Caracas (CNP in Spanish).

Brito created the profile @OrianVengador to confront the hacker. Twitter users tweeted messages of support to the journalist with the hashtag #HackeadoPorInformar (Hacked for Reporting).

Secretary general of CNP denounced the attack. "Information cannot be eliminated or distorted to favor political interests. A democratic state is built on freedom of expression, with necessary and timely information provided by journalists," said the secretary.

To learn how to increase your cyber security and avoid becoming a victim of digital crime, check out these tips from technology journalist Luis Carlos Díaz, who received threats from pro-Chávez hackers last November.