Feeds

SEA hacks Reuters website widget DESPITE 2FA security

Ad agency Taboola unwittingly provides backdoor for attackers

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Hacktivists with the Syrian Electronic Army have hit news agency Reuters again.

Surfers intending to catch up with the latest news were briefly redirected to a page run by the Syrian Electronic Army. The page (screenshot via HotforSecurity here) berated Western media reports about the conflict in Syria.

The SEA has previous form for attacking Reuters on the web. It hijacked the news agency's Twitter feed last July.

The latest attack is a tad more subtle and involved exploiting systems at Taboola, a third party ad network ‪used by the news agency.‬ Reuters, like many other outlets, embedded Taboola's recommended content widget on its site.

In a statement Taboola admitted the hack, which it said was carried out using a phishing attack, without going into details. Sophisticated multi-stage phishing attacks are the SEA's favourite hacking technique.

Today [Sunday], between 7AM - 8AM EDT, an organization called the “Syrian Electronic Army” hacked Taboola’s widget on Reuters.com.

The intruder was redirecting users that accessed article pages on reuters.com to a different landing page.

The breach was detected at approximately 7:25am, and fully removed at 8am. There is no further suspicious activity across our network since, and the total duration of the event was 60 minutes.

While we use 2-step authentication, our initial investigation shows the attack was enabled through a phishing mechanism. We immediately changed all access passwords, and will continue to investigate this over the next 24 hours.

Taboola's other media clients include TMZ, Time, the BBC, and USA Today. The attack was limited to Taboola's widget on Reuters.

Hacktivists at the SEA posted screenshots to support claims that they had also broken into Taboola's PayPal account. Taboola made no comment on this point.

The Taboola attacks are similar to an attack against content recommendation site Outbrain by the SEA last August. The breach meant surfers to popular websites such CNN, The Washington Post and Time magazine were confronted by a pro-Assad propaganda instead. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.