The Guardian’s Twitter accounts
Several of The Guardian’s Twitter accounts have been compromised. The newspaper said a group called “Syrian Electronic Army” has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The paper announced on its website that its Twitter accounts were broken into over the weekend.
According to an IP trace run by the publication, the attacks originated from Syria. “We are aware that a number of Guardian Twitter accounts have been compromised and we are working actively to resolve this,” Guardian News and Media said in a statement.
Guardian staffer James Ball confirmed on Twitter that the Syrian Electronic Army used phishing emails to break into the accounts, similar to the attacks on the Associated Press account earlier this month. According to various media reports, the SEA is a group that supports Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose regime is currently under threat thanks to armed rebellion in the country.
The hackers left behind these messages
The Guardian said it realised it was being targeted by Twitter hackers when dubious emails were sent to many of the paper’s staff to trick them into giving away security details. Subsequently, some of its Twitter accounts including @GuardianBooks and @guardianfilm have been suspended since yesterday.
The SEA, who also claimed to have hacked AP’s Twitter accounts, accused the Guardian of spreading “lies and slander about Syria.” Last week, the SEA hackers tweeted from the AP account that the White House was under attack, which triggered a brief plunge in the US stock market.
Twitter is said to be working on a two-step verification method just like Google and Microsoft in light of an increasing number of high-profile news organisations falling victim to hacking.