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Reuters Twitter account hacked, false Syria tweets sent

Reuters has again been attacked in the cyber warfare front of the conflict in Syria. A Reuters Twitter account was hacked on Sunday and false tweets, mainly related to the armed struggle, were posted.

“Earlier today @ReutersTech was hacked and changed to @ReutersME,” a Reuters spokesperson said on Sunday. “The account has been suspended and is currently under investigation.”

The incident followed Reuters’ disclosure that the blogging platform of its website was compromised on Friday and a false posting purporting to carry an interview with a Syrian rebel leader was illegally posted on a journalist’s blog.

In the latest incident a series of 22 false tweets were sent purporting to be from Reuters. Some of the tweets also carried false reports about Syrian rebel losses suffered in battles with Syrian government forces.

The Christian Science Monitor reported: “The Syrian civil war, with limited access for journalists but a proliferation of rebels and regime supporters with smart phones and Internet connections, has been a particularly fertile propaganda battlefield. Far too often, unconfirmed claims emerging on Twitter or YouTube are taken as fact, and presumably the pro-Assad hackers were seeking to amplify this phenomenon in recent days.

“What good does it do them? It’s hard to imagine much. These kinds of hoaxes are run to the ground fairly quickly and the only people they appear to take in are those inclined to want to believe them in the first place.

“But they’re certainly a reminder of the need for caution in approaching online information. If something looks extraordinary, assume it is until you have solid confirmation otherwise.” ■