The attack was attributed to the Syrian Electronic Army after a number of articles were published or amended to show the headline “Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army” on the technology blog hosted at ft.com.
A report by The Telegraph shows other blog posts with the headline “Syrian Electronic Army was here,” although it appears that each article was left completely blank and contained no other messages or content uploaded by those responsible.
The press office for the Financial Times and numerous Twitter accounts run by the newspaper confirmed the cyber attack on Twitter, assuring its followers that the company was “working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”
Various FT blogs and social media accounts have been compromised by hackers and we are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
— FT Press Office (@FTPressOffice) May 17, 2013
Apologies, we have been hacked and you may see tweets that are not from the FT. We are working on getting this fixed.
— FT World News (@FTworldnews) May 17, 2013
Apologies, we have been hacked. You may see tweets that are not from the FT. We are working on getting this fixed.
— FT Commodities (@ftcommodities) May 17, 2013
Individual journalists from the Financial Times, including the newspaper’s chief foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman, have also taken to the social network to explain what has happened.
The FT’s Twitter accounts have been hacked. We’re sorry and we’re working on getting this fixed.
— Gideon Rachman (@gideonrachman) May 17, 2013
The Syrian Electronic Army, understood to be a number of hackers and online activists that support the current Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, may have gained control for up to 14 Twitter accounts run by the newspaper.
All of these have since been reclaimed, however, and most have posted apologetic or explanatory tweets to reassure followers.
The takeover follows a similar cyber attack carried out by the Syrian Electronic Army on three Twitter accounts run by the BBC. This included the @BBC Weather account, which posted several messages that appeared to be politically and racially motivated.
In April, the Syrian Electronic Army also gained access to the National Public Radio (NPR) website, changing a number of article headlines before accessing and tweeting from multiple NPR-related Twitter accounts.
A Twitter account using the same name then took responsibility for hacking The Associated Press Twitter account (@AP) and posting the following tweet: “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.”