Reuters site hacked, fake interview with Syrian rebel leader posted

Posted on August 4, 2012

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(CBS News) Thomson Reuters announced that due to their blogging platform being hacked on Friday, a false story about an alleged interview with a Syrian rebel leader was posted.

Reuters.com was a target of a hack on Friday,” the company said in a statement. “Our blogging platform was compromised and fabricated blog posts were falsely attributed to several Reuters journalists.”

Thomson Reuters confirmed that their blogging platform security was breached and said they did not have any immediate information on who or what organization was behind the false stories. They took down their blogging platform temporarily on Friday while they fixed the problems.

One of the posts was an “interview” with the head of the Free Syrian Army, Riad al-Assad. Al-Assad allegedly said that his forces were pulling back from the northern province of Aleppo after repeated battles with the Syrian Army.

“Reuters did not carry out such an interview and the posting has been deleted,” they added.

Another story alleged that rebels had obtained chemical weapons from Libya and were going to smuggle them into Syria.

The Free Syrian Army issued a statement saying that the interview with Riad al-Assad never took place and blamed President Bashar al-Assad‘s government for planting the story, according to Reuters.

“(It) was fabricated by the regime, as it seems the news agency was hacked,” the Free Syrian Army statement said.

The fighting continues in Syria where 21 people were killed in a Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus on Friday, according to activists and the U.N. agency running the camp. The government and rebel forces were battling in nearby Damascus suburb of Tadamon on Thursday evening.

Just yesterday, Kofi Annan resigned as the U.N. envoy to Syria. He blamed the U.N. Security Council, saying he “can’t want peace more than the protagonists, more than Security Council or the international community.” Annan argued that a failed six-point peace plan that is normally attributed to him actually belongs to the Security Council because they endorsed it.

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