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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

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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