Al Jazeera SMS Service Hacked

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Al Jazeera recently acknowledged that its SMS service had been hacked and used to distribute fake news reports.

"These included a statement that the prime minister of Qatar -- where al-Jazeera is based -- had been the target of an assassination attempt," writes TG Daily's Emma Woollacott. "Another claimed that the wife of the country's emir had been wounded."

"'We'd like to inform our subscribers that al-Jazeera SMS service has been compromised by hackers who have sent fake news,' the TV channel said in a tweet," BBC News reports.

"A group known as the Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility for the hit," writes TechWeekEurope's Tom Brewster. "On its website, the group says it is 'supporting the cause of the Syrian Arab people by armaments with science and knowledge against the campaigns led by the Arab media and Western on our Republic by broadcasting fabricated news about what is happening in Syria.'"

"Pro-Syrian government hackers have stepped up their attacks on news agencies in recent weeks," notes CNET News' Steven Musil. "In early August, Reuters suffered two security breaches in two days when hackers managed to gain control of one of its Twitter accounts and defaced [it] with pro-Syrian government tweets. Earlier that week, hackers broke in to the Reuters.com Web site and added a phony post purporting to be an interview with the head of the Free Syrian Army."