Call it a “psy-ops” attack, if you like: Reuters has suffered the embarrassment of having two platforms infiltrated and used to spread propaganda messages supporting the Syrian regime.
The newswire’s woes began on Friday, August 3, when attackers gained access to its blogging platform and posted false stories claiming attributed to Reuters journalists. This included a post claiming to be an interview with Free Syrian Army (FSA) head Riad al-Assad foreshadowing a pull-out from northern Aleppo.
After Reuters took the blogging platform offline, the attackers directed their attention to a Twitter account operated by the agency, changing @ReutersTECH to @ReutersME and slotting in propagandistic and absurd posts (screenshot from @worldwidenieuws).
This included the improbable claim that the US intended to punish Egypt for a demonstration at which protesters chanted “Monica” at Hilary Clinton, claims that America never stopped funding Al Qaeda, and (predictably enough) alleged reports of heavy FSA losses in Aleppo.
The Twitter hijacker’s parting shot drew in Zionist propaganda, stating that Reuters was planning a shareholders’ meeting to investigate “Rothschild’s ‘iron grip’ over decision-making process”.
As Christian Science Monitor notes, such “ham-handed” propaganda probably doesn’t have much impact (Indeed, in El Reg’s experience, it’s easier and more effective to punk newswires with urban myths, but that’s another story). ®