Feeds

Pro-Assad hackers break into AFP Photo wire Twitter feed

#apicisworthapprox36tweets

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The Twitter feed of news agency AFP's photo department was hacked yesterday, apparently by supporters of embattled Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad.

The agency's main Twitter account tweeted that any documents or images posted to the photo-dept feed from 16.45 had not come from Agence France-Presse:

AFP eventually suspended the account, which remains down today.

The pictures on the feed were of graphic images from the conflict in Syria, frequently of low quality and accompanied by captions that accused "Obama backed" rebel armies of killing children and using them as soldiers. The tweets also showed images allegedly of citizens supporting Assad or celebrating the arrival of Syrian soldiers.

The Atlantic saved a number of the tweets here, but some contain graphic images that may be disturbing.

The AFP photo feed doesn't have a long reach, since it only has around 3,600 followers and was set up less than two weeks ago, so it's unclear why it was targeted by the hackers - unless it was a case of hacking who you can, rather than who you would like to. The suggestion that the photos were endorsed by the wire service may also have been seen as adding believeability to the message the pics sought to push*.

AFP's security experts have also said that the wire service has been the victim this week of a phishing attack seeking to steal the IDs and passwords of employees by getting them to log into a fake AFP website. They say the attack has been unsuccessful so far but have not said whether the phishing could be related to the Twitter hack. ®

Bootnote

*At least among people unfamiliar with the frequently rather dodgy nature of some photos supplied even by reputable media outfits, which often show evidence of being at the very least creatively amended or photoshopped. An example can be seen here, of an AFP/Getty image in which a Syrian rebel commander in combat seemingly brandishes a weapon which is - apparently - simultaneously belt and drum fed. - Ed

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.