Syrian Electronic Army Hacks Thomson Reuters’ Twitter Account

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Another day, another successful Twitter hack by the Syrian Electronic Army

Prolific hacking collective the Syrian Electronic Army has struck again, claiming the Twitter account of Thomson Reuters.

The group, a supporter of the President Bashar al-Assad regime, broke into the Thomson Reuters account overnight, publishing messages designed to stir-up anti-rebel anger.

Offending tweets have now been deleted, and it appears the Syrian Electronic Army has been thrown out of the account.

Blue bird, Twitter © ruforester FotoliaSyrian Electronic Army claims another scalp

The hackers have traditionally sent emails to media organisations to trick members of staff into handing over login details, usually by clicking presenting them with a link that will take them to a phishing page.

It has already claimed a number of high-profile Twitter account hacks with that tactic, including those belonging to the Guardian and the Financial Times.

Twitter has introduced two-factor authentication but that move received plenty of criticism for its implementation. It is not usable for many media organisations, noted security consultant Graham Cluley.

“Media organisations who share breaking news on social media sites like Twitter typically have many staff, spread around the globe, who share the same Twitter account,” Cluley wrote in a blog post.

“2FA isn’t a help to these organisations, because they can’t all access the same phone at the same time.”

The Syrian Electronic Army has been busy bothering app makers of late too, including repeated attacks on Viber and Sky.

It has been reported the collective tried to break into the White House website this week, but failed. Unconfirmed reports have claimed the SEA did manage to hack three personal email accounts of White House employees.

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