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Thompson Reuters appears to be the latest victim of the hacking campaign waged by the Syrian Electronic Army against Western media outlets.
Early Tuesday the Reuters Twitter account began broadcasting a series of rather explicit political cartoons expressing support for Bashar al-Assad. After seven images were tweeted, Reuters appeared to regain control of the account, stopping the messages within 35 minutes.
Reuters has not yet commented on the incident.
Prior victims of Twitter hacking attacks from the SEA include the Guardian, the Associated Press, NPR and CBS in April, and the Financial Times and Daily Telegraph in May.
The hackers’ tweets have not always been so obviously fraudulent: When AP was hacked in April, the group tweeted, “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama Injured,” sending the S&P 500 down nearly 1 percent and temporarily wiping out $136.5 billion.
The SEA first became visibly active in 2011, shortly after the anti-Assad revolution swept Syria. It is believed to operate out of Dubai, with support from the Assad regime.
In May, satirical newspaper The Onion was subjected to an attack by the SEA and responded with a ironic piece titled, “The Onion’s Tips on How to Prevent Your Major Media Site From Being Hacked.”
But then, in a move somewhat out of character, it also issued a straight explanation of how its account was infiltrated, to help other organizations defend themselves.
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