Guardian Twitter accounts compromised, SEA takes credit

Summary:The Associated Press wasn't enough for the Syrian Electronic Army, which has now taken control of another publication's Twitter accounts.

Fake tweets sent out by the Associated Press Twitter feed forced the microblogging site to promise better defenses, but has not stopped the Syrian Electronic Army from targeting another news source.

According to a blog post written by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), 11 Guardian accounts were breached over the weekend. At the time of writing, The Guardian's business feed appears to be compromised, with a tweet from that account — as well as the publication's green section — advertising the SEA's political motives.

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Several Guardian journalists have taken to the platform to talk about the cyberattacks; James Ball has commented that "The guys doing the Guardian phishing attack I mentioned yesterday (it's SEA) are really very good: sustained, changing, mails today." In addition, both Ball and editor Claire Phipps talked of persistent robotic calls reaching their mobile phones.

Accounts including the publication's "Books," "Travel" and "Film" have also been impacted, and a number of the feeds have been suspended. Translated from Arabic, the SEA's message concerning the attacks states that the account takeovers are due to closure of the Syrian Electronic Army's own Twitter accounts, and this has caused a "state of war" with Twitter's production team. The Guardian, in particular, was targeted because the publication "sometimes lies and slanders Syria."

Last week, the SEA caused a brief panic after taking over the Associated Press Twitter account, and sending out a fake message that suggested President Obama had been injured in an explosion at the White House. Although the message's tone and style were suspiciously not in the same thread as usual AP tweets, the news agency was forced to take the account offline for close to a day.

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Topics: Security

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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