Reuters hacked by pro-Assad activists

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Reuters has been hacked, twice, by Syrian pro-government activists.

On Friday, the hackers posted a phony interview with Free Syrian Army head Riad al-Asaad on the news agency's blogging platform.

Yesterday, they followed this up by taking over one of its Twitter feeds, renaming it and posting around two dozen tweets claiming victories against pro-democracy forces.

The tweets included a description of a battle in Aleppo as 'shooting fish in a barrel', and a number of implausible claims about the US government.

Amongst these were claims that the US has been continuously funding Al Qaeda since the 1980s, and that Bill Clinton has vowed retribution on Egypt after being humiliated by chants referring to Monica Lewinsky.

The accounts have since been suspended.

Reuters confirmed the hack in a tweet in another account, but says it doesn't know precisely who's responsible.

"Reuters.com  was a target of a hack on Friday. Our blogging platform was compromised... and fabricated blog posts were falsely attributed to several Reuters journalists," it says. "We are working to address the problem."

While the tweets are unlikely to take in many people, they'll probably fool a few: increasingly, people are looking to social media for the latest news, and when it comes from Reuters it's that much more likely to be believed.