FT Twitter account hacked to expose Syria ‘atrocities’
Syrian pro-government group posts links to graphic images claimed to be of rebel brutality
FT Trading Room, a Financial Times Twitter account broadcast two messages today regarding the conflict in Syria, in an apparent hijacking of the account by an unidentified pro-government group.
Bloomberg reported that one message read "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here", while the other asked "Do you want to know the reality of the Syrian ‘Rebels'?" and directed readers to video link that "showed a man cutting the heart from a corpse as an unidentified voice says ‘I swear in the name of God that we will eat from your hearts and livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog.'", according to Bloomberg.
The two-year conflict between Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad's forces and insurgent factions has sparked controversy among global leaders as how to best provide aid.
"We have now locked those accounts and are grateful for Twitter's help on this," Robert Shrimsley, managing editor for FT.com, said on the newspaper's website.
"Unfortunately this is an increasingly common issue for major news organisations."
On the paper's @ftmedia Twitter page, another video clip, which has since been removed, was posted with the headline "Jabnet A-Nosra terrorists executed innocent citizens #SEA #Syria." Bloomberg reported that the video showed a masked individual reading a transcript and then shooting around nine blindfolded, kneeling figures in the back of their heads.
Last month, the AP's Twitter account was the target of a cyber attack, which rocked trading markets by using the hijacked feed to report that US President Barack Obama had been injured in an explosion at the White House.
Analysts have previously commented that Twitter uses only basic security despite being a voice for many public figures, government agencies and media outlets around the world.
"Twitter's information technology security is still weak even though it has become an official communication tool for many companies," said Stefano Zanero, assistant professor in Politecnico di Milano University's computer engineering department.
"This is why it would need, for example, a two-factor authentication [2FA] system based on a second password sent to users' mobile phones."