BBC Weather Twitter feed stormed by Syrian hackers
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 21 Mar 2013 at 14:58
BBC Weather's Twitter feed today stopped warning about snow and rain in favour of messages about the Syrian conflict, Middle East politicians and camels.
Hackers took over the feed at around 1pm, with the message "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here". Over the following hour, the feed was filled with a series of weather-themed tweets about Syria and its neighbouring nations, before the hackers stopped.
The Syrian Electronic Army - which supports the regime of President Bashar al-Assad - has previously targeted news networks including Al Jazeera, and earlier this week took over the Twitter feed of Human Rights Watch.
At the time of writing, all but one of the BBC Weather tweets remained live and no action appeared to have been taken by Twitter or the feed owners to shut down the account.
"Whether the legitimate owners of the @BBCWeather account were phished, had their password cracked, or made the mistake of using the same password in multiple places isn't currently clear - but what is obvious is that right now they have no control over their account," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, in a blog post. "And meanwhile, almost 60,000 Twitter users are getting weather reports from the Syrian Electronic Army instead."
"The good news is that the hack doesn't appear to have been done with the intention of spreading malicious links, or scams," he said.
Followers of the BBC Weather account seemed mostly amused by the hack. "This is the best weather page on the whole of Twitter today!" said one follower.
Cluley said the hack highlighted the need for Twitter to offer two-factor authentication. The BBC press office said: "We're aware that in the past few hours several BBC Twitter accounts have been hacked. We're actively working to resolve this asap."
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- The key to choosing a secure password
- Please stop reposting fake Facebook messages
- Is Facebook safe for business?
- Don't rely on Chrome's password vault
- Facebook Graph Search: don't panic
- Gmail drafts and Pastebin: could they evade the email snoops?
- Applying for a job at GCHQ? Here's your plain-text password
- Google two-step verification: a must for business email
- Yes, I write down my passwords