Another Media Outlet Hacked in Syria-Related Attack

May 17, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Another major media outlet has been targeted by hackers focused on the situation in Syria. Advertising Age reports that the latest attack was focused on the Financial Times.

Messages related to the confict in Syria appeared on the publication’s blog and some of its social media accounts today. “The FT Trading Room account on Twitter posted two messages,” the piece reports. “One said ‘Syrian Electronic Army Was Here" and the other ‘Do you want to know the reality of the Syrian ‘Rebels’? Just watch this video.’ The link showed a man cutting the heart from a corpse as an unidentified voice says, ‘I swear in the name of god that we will eat from your hearts and livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog.’"

The hack raises concerns about the ease with which social-media accounts such as those on Twitter can be compromised.

On the Financial Times website, Robert Shrimsley, managing editor for FT.com, said: "We have now locked those accounts and are grateful for Twitter’s help on this. Unfortunately this is an increasingly common issue for major news organizations."

Ad Age notes: “Last month, hackers hijacked the Associated Press’s Twitter account, sending stock markets down 1% in a matter of seconds by posting a false claim that President Obama had been injured in an attack on the White House.”

The report quotes Stefano Zanero, an assistant professor in Politecnico di Milano University’s computer engineering department, saying: "Twitter’s information-technology security is still weak even though it has become an official communication tool for many companies. This is why it would need, for example, a two-factor authentication system based on a second password sent to users’ mobile phones."

The piece adds: “The FT, owned by Pearson, said that some of its employees had received phishing e-mails in the days before the attack, designed to trick them into revealing information.”

The story also reports: “On the newspaper’s @ftmedia Twitter page, a video clip — since deleted — was posted with the text ‘Jabnet A-Nosra terrorists executed innocent citizens #SEA #Syria.’ In the video, a masked person appears, reading from a paper before shooting about nine people kneeling blindfolded in the back of their heads. The gunman is flanked by two people carrying black flags with a white motif.”

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