Feeds

Pro-Assad hackers break into AFP Photo wire Twitter feed

#apicisworthapprox36tweets

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.