Syrian hackers compromise FT blog, Twitter feeds

May 17, 2013 by Raphael Satter

(AP)—A clutch of Twitter accounts and a blog maintained by the Financial Times were hacked Friday, the latest in a series of cyberattacks claimed by the Syrian Electronic Army, a pro-government group which has regularly targeted media organizations it sees as sympathetic to the country's rebels.

A few of the FT's dozens of Twitter feeds and blogs broadcast messages supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad and attacking Syria's opposition. One described the Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra as terrorists and linked to a graphic video of a hooded man shooting kneeling prisoners in the back of the head.

"Syrian Electronic Army Was Here," the group crowed on one of the FT's Twitter feeds.

The FT said in a statement that it had since secured the accounts.

One of Electronic Army's hackers said his group was behind the attack but declined to answer further questions. The group has apparently spent much of the past 24 hours trying to break into the FT's system.

One internal company memo distributed Thursday and seen by The Associated Press warned FT employees not to click on suspicious emails, while a second earlier Friday warned that the FT was "facing a phishing attack."

Phishing describes the use of innocuous-looking emails or websites to trick users into giving up their passwords or other details. The Syrian Electronic Army has routinely used the tactic to take control of media organization's Twitter feeds.

Recent targets have included the BBC, al-Jazeera, E! Online, and satirical newspaper The Onion. Last month the group claimed responsibility for hacking the AP's Twitter feed.

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