The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

Financial Times website, Twitter feeds compromised

A screen grab provided by the Syrian Electronic Army purports to show a phishing attack on the Financial Times (click for larger)
A screen grab provided by the Syrian Electronic Army purports to show a phishing attack on the Financial Times (click for larger)

The Syrian Electronic Army has claimed responsibility for an attack on the website and several Twitter feeds of the Financial Times newspaper on Friday.

The website and Twitter feeds briefly featured messages in support of embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, mirroring similar attacks by the hacking collective on other news organizations over the past few months.

According to the Associated Press, a memo circulated around the Financial Times newsroom warning of a possible phishing attack.

A member of the Syrian Electronic Army confirmed to The Desk on Friday that its was responsible for the attack, saying it had compromised Google Mail accounts belonging to the newspaper.

“They are using Google Mail as their webmail,” a hacker who calls himself “Th3Pr0” said on Friday, adding that the SEA used various phishing methods and compromised “Gmail sessions” in order to carry out the attack.

The Desk was also sent a copy of a memo distributed to all staff at the Financial Times after the phishing attack began.

“Various FT blogs and social media accounts have been compromised by hackers and we are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible,” the memo sent by Emily Gibbs at the Financial Times read.

Along with the memo, The Desk was provided with several screen grabs of a desktop that appears to show, among other things, Twitter feeds belonging to the Financial Times attack. In one browser tab, an email purportedly from “Shelly Byrne” at the Financial Times appears to be open on a Gmail account. Byrne is the marketing manager at the Financial Times according to a profile on LinkedIn.

The Twitter feed for the Financial Times appeared to have been restored Friday afternoon.

The Desk: A conversation with the Syrian Electronic Army
Associated Press: Syrian Electronic Army hacks FT website, Twitter feed

Photo of author

About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience covering the business of television and radio broadcasting, streaming services and the overall media industry. In addition to his work as publisher of The Desk, Matthew contributes regularly to StreamTV Insider and KnowTechie, and has worked for several well-known news organizations, including Thomson Reuters, McNaughton Newspapers, Grasswire, Comstock's magazine, KTXL-TV and KGO-TV. Matthew is a member of IRE, a trade organization for investigative reporters and editors, and is based in Northern California.

Email: [email protected] | Signal: 530-507-8380