Reuters says blogging platform hacked; false story about Foreign Minister illegally posted
The blogging platform of the Reuters News website was hacked and a false posting saying Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal had died was illegally posted on a Reuters journalist's blog, the company said on Wednesday.
"Reuters did not report the false story and the post was immediately deleted. We are working to address the problem," Barb Burg, director of global communications at Reuters News, said in a statement.
Reuters had no immediate information on who was behind the hacking, the second time this month that the blogging platform of Reuters.com has been compromised.
On August 3, Reuters was forced to shut the platform temporarily after the appearance of unauthorised, and false, reports citing military reverses for rebels in Syria.
Two days later, the company suspended the @ReutersTech Twitter account after it appeared to have been seized, renamed and used to send false tweets apparently designed to undermine the Syrian rebels. Both incidents remain under investigation.
Although the identity of those hackers is not known either, there is an intensifying conflict in cyberspace between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Saudi Arabia has emerged as a staunch opponent of Assad.
A group calling itself the "Syrian Electronic Army" claimed responsibility for defacing a Harvard University website to post a picture of Assad in military uniform last year.
Last week, a Twitter account purporting to be that of a senior Russian official said Assad had been killed in Damascus, prompting a flurry of checks by media before Russia's foreign ministry confirmed the news was fake.