Reuters' Twitter account hacked

Summary:The Reuters blogging platform was hacked on Friday. The ReutersTech Twitter account was hacked on Sunday. The two events appear to be related; in both cases, fake news was posted in relation to the currently ongoing Syrian Civil War.

Update on August 6 - Reuters was hacked via an old version of WordPress

Reuters Twitter account hacked

The Reuters blogging platform was hacked on Friday , and a false story about an alleged interview with a Syrian rebel leader was posted. On Sunday (today), Reuters suffered a second security breach in which hackers gained control of one of its Twitter accounts, the publication confirmed.

The ReutersTech account was hijacked and renamed to ReutersME (ME stands for Middle East). Reuters confirmed the breach today in a tweet on its main Twitter account:

Earlier today @ReutersTech was hacked and changed to @ReutersME. The account has been suspended and is currently under investigation

Indeed, if you head over to twitter.com/ReutersTech you'll get a "Sorry, that page doesn't exist!" error. Meanwhile, the twitter.com/ReutersMe URL redirects to twitter.com/account/suspended, which says "The profile you are trying to view has been suspended."

As you can see in the screenshot above, courtesy of Worldwide-Nieuws (via CNET), most of the fake tweets were related to Syria. This would suggest the two breaches are related. Eight fake tweets were sent out in total:

Obama signs executive order banning any further investigation of 9/11.
White house spokesperson says financial and technical support given to #AlQaeda operatives in #Syria.
Flashpoint Syria: Turkey complains that one of its generals was captured in Aleppo, Erdogan heard shouting from his office.
#InfoWars | Why Is the U.S. Government Funding Islamic Terrorists Who Are Killing Christians
Reuters shareholders to hold meeting over Rothschild's "iron grip" over decision making process
FOX news asks, #Americans left wondering: Is #AlQaeda An Enemy Or Not
Farouq brigade of #FSA in #Homs exchanges blame due to compromise of locations and weapons #Syria
FSA high ranking officer Gen. Mustafa Al-Sheikh dies during clashes in Anadan, Aleppo

The ongoing Syrian Civil War, also referred to as the Syrian Uprising, began in January 2011, as part of the broader Arab Spring. The opposition is dominated by Sunni Muslims, whereas the leading government figures are Alawite Muslims.

Protesters are demanding the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, want to overthrow his government, and are looking to end nearly five decades of Ba'ath Party rule. In response, the Syrian government has deployed the Syrian Army, resulting in the death of more than 10,000 civilians and soldiers. Many more have been injured, and tens of thousands of protesters have been imprisoned.

As far as I know, no group has claimed responsibility for either of the two attacks. The fake stories related to both, however, would suggest that the hacks are connected with supporters of Syria's current government.

Update on August 6 - Reuters was hacked via an old version of WordPress

See also:

Topics: Security, Outage, Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.