Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
British broadcaster Sky, synonymous for its wide-ranging sports coverage and news service, scored an own goal last week when it was forced to remove its Android apps from Google Play on account of them being compromised. Now, less than a week later, the apps are back in the store as usual.
All our Android apps, which we removed from the Google Play last weekend, are now available to download! More at: j.mp/Sky_Android :)
— Sky Help Team (@SkyHelpTeam) May 31, 2013
The Sky+ and Sky News Android apps were affected, alongside Sky Go, Sky Wifi, Sky Movies, and Sky Sports News apps too. The apps were believed to have been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army, a group of hackers that have compromised a range of sites and services from top media firms as part of their efforts to support the Syrian regime.
It’s not known how the group managed to update the programs from inside the Google Play store. However, all screenshots in the app were replaced with images from the hacking group. In addition, the group also modified the developer website link on all of BSkyB’s apps so that it pointed to their page.
The Syrian Electronic Army has previously attacked the website and Twitter accounts of the Financial Times, leaving articles with the headline “Hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army” on its technology blog. It has also laid siege to BBC Twitter accounts, the National Public Radio service, the Guardian newspaper, and the Associated Press.
Photo credit: Sky News image via Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images, Screenshot of Sky News Android app via Google Play, Syrian Electronic Army screen hack via Matthew Keys/The Desk
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