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Reuters’ Twitter account hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

The news outlet’s Twitter feed was hacked with pro-Assad cartoons

By Claire Vanner

Thomson Reuters’ Twitter account has been the latest target of the Syrian Electronic Army.

The news agency’s Twitter feed displayed seven posts from the SEA, with six of them containing satirical cartoons in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The final post declared that the previous posts had been sent by the SEA.
Reuters later confirmed that they had been hacked and released the following statement yesterday: "Earlier today @thomsonreuters was hacked. In this time, unauthorized individuals have posted fabricated tweets of which Thomson Reuters is not the source. The account has been suspended and is currently under investigation."

George Anderson, senior product marketing manager for enterprise at Webroot, commented: "Reuters may be the latest victim of the Twitter attacks by Syrian Electronic Army but it will not be the last.

"As attacks become more targeted, businesses must be more vigilant, ensuring their cyber security strategy works in real-time and therefore constantly adapts to new threats.

"The key is to create real-time threat monitoring run from the cloud. This means such attacks will be spotted quickly and addressed before they develop into major problems," he added.

Other major news agencies to have recently been hacked by the SEA include The Financial Times and The Guardian.

The SEA is carrying out the digital attacks in an attempt to win support for the Syrian government in its civil war against insurgents.

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Jarno Limnell, director of cyber security for Stonesoft, said: "Information is both an asset to be protected and a weapon to be used. Media Twitter feeds are obviously far-reaching and powerful mediums, and as such, they are prime targets for groups seeking to modify public information or to release information not previously published."

Last week the SEA also hacked free video and text messaging service Tango, stealing personal data, including phone numbers, contacts and email addresses, totaling around 1.5TB of data.

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