The Syrian Electronic Army has claimed another victory by defacing the Financial Times website as well as several Twitter accounts run by the news organization.

The group has had a run of luck recently with the compromise of the Associated Press Twitter account, where they tweeted a false story about  President Barack Obama being injured and hacking of  spoof news site The Onion’s Twitter account. They have also successfully targeted the BBC, Orient TV, al-Arabia TV, NPR and Human Rights Watch amongst others.

The number of high profile Twitter accounts used by the press to disseminate information to the public has revealed a serious issue with Twitter security. Even before these breaches there has been a cry from the public to provide additional security layers such as two factor authentication to the platform.

Although it appears that Twitter is working on a solution, it could not come soon enough. It is no longer just about brands and celebrities needing to protect their reputation.

Now groups and governments with hostile intent are hijacking Twitter accounts  and defacing websites as a means of information warfare. It is not only about spreading misinformation and propaganda, but the also the act of revealing vulnerabilities making us seem weak which has an effect on national consciousness making the general public feel insecure and lack  confidence in companies and our government to secure our cyber assets.

Although the outcome of these attacks is usually just an inconvenience, the fact that the Associated Press false Twitter account about the President being attacked had an effect on the stock market reveals the potential for a broader impact.

To make matters worse the recent news that the  U.S. Government is tracking phone records of reporters as a means to identify the source of leaks within the government,  indicating that some of these news organizations have access to confidential information that could affect national security raises the risks substantially.

The bulk of the attacks against these organizations have not been particularly sophisticated, most leverage spear-phishing techniques and utilize social engineering tactics to enter credentials for social media accounts. Do these groups have the capability to take advantage of more sophisticated? Probably.

However, when an attacker gains access to a high value target they are less likely to announce it like you would a website defacement or Twitter account take over,  instead they will try to hold their unauthorized access and use it as a foot hold to gain broader access or keep it in their back pocket for later.


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Executives Guide to the 20 CSC
  • Joay Vanis

    latest gadgets not only inbuilt latest features but also they are helpful in other important task.

  • John Danielson

    A a hundred,000+ personal petition impelled the White House to weigh in on the existing discuss over the legality of shutting cell phones so they can be applied on various service providers, which erupted after the U.S. Copyright Office announced telephones were will no longer exempted to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Thankfully, the Obama administration came down on the side of consumers’ rights.
    “If you have paid for your mobile device, and aren’t bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network,” wrote White House Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation, & Privacy R. David Edelman. “It’s common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers’ needs.”
    Edelman wrote the Obama administration would support “range of approaches” to remedying the Copyright Office’s decision, including backing legislation that would make it clear that consumers are allowed to switch carriers. “We look forward to continuing to work with Congress, the wireless and mobile phone industries, and most importantly you — the everyday consumers who stand to benefit from this greater flexibility,” he continued, “To ensure our laws keep pace with changing technology, protect the economic competitiveness that has led to such innovation in this space, and offer consumers the flexibility and freedoms they deserve.”

  • Dan

    Awesome guideline as well! Just a very very quick note to notify you that I have a passion for the topic at hand. Love this all tips on this sheet. Thanks the head up..

  • Supraja Lakshmi

    Over the years Internet has been the most rampant influence in the lives of every individual. Just that a lot has made this as an instrument to malign people or give false information. Also case of Cyber Bullying

  • Woody

    Congratulations to Syrian Electronic Army that has claimed another victory by defacing the Financial Times. You deserve all the success.

Ken Westin

Ken Westin has contributed 157 posts to The State of Security.

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