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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Syrian Electronic Army attacks Reuters

01 August, 2013
Media giant Thomson Reuters has fallen victim to a hacked Twitter account at the hands of the Syrian Electronic Army


In response to the news that Thomson Reuters is the latest news agency to have one of its Twitter accounts hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army, experts at anti-virus and mobile protection firm Webroot, and network security company, Stonesoft provide their reaction.



George Anderson, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Enterprise at Webroot said: “Reuters may be the latest victim of the Twitter attacks by Syrian Electronic Army but it will not be the last.  With so many media outlets targeted by SEA in recent months, one might assume that lessons have been learnt but in reality, it’s increasingly difficult to protect yourself against sophisticated phishing attacks, such as the ones by SEA.



“As attacks become more targeted, businesses must be more vigilant, ensuring their cyber security strategy works in real-time and therefore constantly adapts to new threats. The problem is that most anti-phishing security technology solutions rely too heavily on trying to find and build blacklists of phishing sites and then using those to block the users’ when they click on the link. This is not a fast enough process. When a phishing site is created to fool one specific company or individual, it may only be ‘live’ for a few hours so there’s no chance any traditional anti-phishing approaches will block it. The key is to create real-time threat monitoring run from the cloud. This means such attacks will be spotted quickly and addressed before they develop into major problems.”



Dr Jarno Limnell, Director of Cyber Security for Stonesoft added:



“Information is both an asset to be protected and a weapon to be used. Media Twitter feeds are obviously far-reaching and powerful mediums, and as such, they are prime targets for groups seeking to modify public information or to release information not previously published. This latest hack by the SEA further testifies to the importance of cyberspace being a part of every contemporary conflict, and the falling financial costs of an attack have enabled the emergence of novel political actors that need to be taken seriously.”


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