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This article was published on May 17, 2013


Financial Times becomes the latest victim of the Syrian Electronic Army as its website and Twitter accounts get hacked

Financial Times becomes the latest victim of the Syrian Electronic Army as its website and Twitter accounts get hacked Image by: AFP
Nick Summers
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Nick Summers

Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.

The Financial Times website and many of its related Twitter accounts were compromised by hackers at roughly 1pm BST (8am EDT) today.

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.

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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.”

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 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.

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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.”

Less than a week later, the Syrian Electronic Army also gained access to 11 accounts owned by The Guardian newspaper, which resulted in a temporary suspension of @GuardianBooks and @GuardianTravel.

Image Credit: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images / Hacker News Bulletin