Syrian group hacks Reuters twitter account

The Twitter account of Thomson Reuters was apparently hacked by a pro-Assad group known as the Syrian Electronic Army. (Photo courtesy: SEA)

The Twitter account of news agency Thomson Reuters was hacked on Tuesday, apparently by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), British daily The Guardian reported.

The hackers posted seven images, mostly explicit cartoons in support of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, before the account was suspended 35 minutes later.

The account was attacked at 1.30am GMT.

The group claiming to be behind the attack is the Syrian Electronic Army. Thomson Reuters is the latest among global media organizations to be targeted by the campaign. The Guardian, Associated Press and CBS were attacked in April, the Financial Times and Daily Telegraph in May and Agence France-Press in February.

Twitter has been working with media firms on ways to secure their accounts, including a rapid response tool to suspend accounts until the hackers are locked out.

The Syrian Electronic Army appeared in 2011 at the start of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
It is thought to operate from Dubai and be controlled by the Syrian government. In 2011, Assad made reference to the group in a speech in which he compared them to his troops:

“The army consists of the brothers of every Syrian citizen … Young people have an important role to play at this stage, because they have proven themselves to be an active power. There is the electronic army, which has been a real army in virtual reality.”

The SEA’s attack on the AP Twitter account claiming that U.S. President Barack Obama had been injured in an explosion briefly wiped $130 billion off the U.S. stock market.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41
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