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Report: Hacked Syrian officials used '12345' as email password

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad attending a prayer service marking the birth of Islam's Prophet Mohammed at a mosque in Damascus on Feb. 5, 2012.

After hundreds of emails from the office of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were leaked on Monday, a report revealed that several of Assad's aides and advisers used the password "12345."

According to Barak Ravid of the Israeli media outlet Haaretz, hackers affiliated with the Anonymous collective attacked the mail server of the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs on Sunday night. During that attack they managed to compromise about 78 email inboxes, including those belonging to the Minister of Presidential Affairs Mansour Fadlallah Azzam and Assad's media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban.

The leaked emails — portions of which were reprinted by Haaretz — included documents preparing Assad for an interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters.

(Though hackers employ many tricks, having a strong password is often a good defense. You may not be a target of Anonymous, but it never hurts to know some tips on proper password practices.)

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