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Reuters’ blogging platform was hacked today, allegedly by Syrian hackers loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. The hackers responsible posted a fake interview with Riad al-Assad of the rebel Free Syrian Army in which the general was supposed to have said his troops were withdrawing after a battle.
Reuters tweeted about the issue immediately and has released a statement explaining the problem and retracting the “illegally posted” interview. Another bogus post apparently claimed that rebels had acquired chemical weapons.
The news agency’s blogging platform is still down now, hours after the attack, as Reuters combs through looking for any other fake posts — and, presumably, any backdoors or unauthorized users. There is no word on what kind of blogging platform Reuters used, or whether the attacker used a zero-day exploit.
Apparently the cause of the hacking in this case was political, which can of course be extremely damaging if undetected.
I can just see the dollar signs in hackers’ eyes now, however, as this may have opened eyes about the possibilities of planting fake news for economic gain.
This incident was quickly found out, but with the speed stories propagate on the internet, a few stories such as Microsoft sanctioned by EU; $10 billion fine or Samsung acquired by Apple; Lawsuits all over could lead to some serious stock manipulation.
Image credit: Jmiks/ShutterStock