The Reuters news agency was recently hit by two cyber attacks — the company’s blogging platform was compromised at the end of last week, and a Reuters Twitter account was taken over soon after.
“The newswire’s woes began on Friday, August 3, when attackers gained access to its blogging platform and posted false stories claiming attributed to Reuters journalists,” writes The Register’s Richard Chirgwin. “This included a post claiming to be an interview with Free Syrian Army (FSA) head Riad al-Assad foreshadowing a pull-out from northern Aleppo.”
“The Free Syrian Army issued a statement saying that the interview never took place and blamed President Bashar al-Assad’s government for planting the story,” writes ZDNet’s Emil Protalinski. “‘(It) was fabricated by the regime, as it seems the news agency was hacked,’ the statement said. While Reuters confirmed the hack, the firm said it does not yet have any information on the party responsible for the fake news. The publication took down its blogging platform on Friday to fix the problem.”
“Presumably, the same hackers are responsible for also compromising a Reuters Twitter account dedicated to technology news, which has about 17,500 followers,” writes VentureBeat’s Tom Cheredar. “The hackers proceeded to change the Twitter account handle from ‘@ReutersTech’ to ‘@ReutersME’ Saturday, and shifted the focus of tweets to the Middle East. The tweets themselves were mostly pro-Syrian government messages, as well as some inflammatory statements targeted at the U.S. government.”
“It’s unclear who was behind the attacks but a subsequent Reuters story quoted the Free Syrian Army blaming President Bashar al-Assad’s government for the false posting,” writes CNET News’ Charles Cooper.