Week-end Hackathon Hits Reuters; Newswire’s Blog Platform Falls first, Next its Twitter Account
Reuters saw its blogging platform and its Twitter accounts temporarily misappropriated by propaganda supporting the Free Syrian Army.
On August 3, hackers secure illicit access to the Reuters News’ blogging platform and post a fake interview with Free Syrian Army head Riad al-Asaad.
“Reuters.com was a target of a hack on Friday. Our blogging platform was compromised and fabricated blog posts were falsely attributed to several Reuters journalists” reacted the newswire at the time. “Reuters did not carry out such an interview and the posting has been deleted.”
The Free Syrian Army blamed the incident on President’s Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Second attack: the @Reuters TECH Twitter account is hijacked and re-baptized @ReutersME, then used to spread 22 fake messages either supporting the FSA or commenting on President Obama’s supposed re-assessment of the US position towards Al Qaeda.
Authors of the hacking incidents still remain unknown.
Reactions to the second official post announcing the Twitter hack reveal one commentator’s support for the hackers, another’s opinion that propaganda remains propaganda, irrespective of the side you take in a conflict, whereas a third points to a possible path investigations might take: “All they have to do is sift through the usual suspects posting pro-Assad comments on here, I’m sure they’ll find the culprit.”