Reuters Hacked, Phony Stories Posted on Syrian Conflict

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Photo: AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/GettyImages

Reuters' website got hacked. Attackers published two phony blog posts that claimed to report on major defeats and setbacks for the rebel Free Syrian Army that is fighting a bloody conflict with the Syrian government.

Several Twitter users and the blog Moon of Alabama noticed at about 10:40 ET that Reuters.com was featuring two blog posts, one stating that "Syrian rebels fighting the forces of Assad have fallen in key districts of their stronghold Salah Al Deen in Aleppo," and a separate interview with the Free Syrian Army's Riad Al-Asaad saying rebels would "withdraw from all Syrian cities due to the huge losses caused upon the soldiers, as well, the betrayals made by rebels, due to in-fighting amongst them, for money and positions."

Reuters blogs, a subset of the company's website that includes writers like Felix Salmon, were taken offline shortly after noon when the company discovered the problem, and remain inaccessible as of 2 p.m. Reuters said in a series of tweets shortly after 1 p.m.:

was a target of a hack on Friday. Our blogging platform was compromised and fabricated blog posts were falsely attributed to several Reuters journalists. We are working to address the problem.

A false blog posting, purporting to carry an interview with the head of the Free Syrian Army Riad al-Asaad was illegally posted on a Reuters journalist's blog page onon FridayReuters did not carry out such an interview and the posting has been deleted.