Hackers use CBS Twitter Accounts to post Bogus Tweets

According to a recently published CNET report, hackers posted phoney tweets accusing the US government of assisting terrorists on two CBS News Twitter accounts - namely '60 Minutes' and '48 Hours'. As confirmed by CBS (CNET's parent company), these tweets were posted between Sunday 19th and Monday 20th of April 2013.

Claimed by a pro-Syrian group of government hackers, the Syrian Electronic Army, the tweets - which were quickly removed by Twitter and are believed to have included links to Web pages carrying malware - consisted of claims that President Obama, the CIA, NATO and other official agencies are working with and arming (including provision of weapons of mass destruction) Al-Qaeda terrorists.

As a result, followers of the two accounts were greeted with messages that the accounts were compromised and that CBS and Twitter were working on resolving the issue, rather than receiving the usual 'latest news' tweets.

This is not the first time official news services have been hi-jacked in this fashion. Just last month, the same group - which supports Bashar Assad, the Syrian president - compromised the Twitter feed of the BBC's weather service.

Reuter's news service was hacked into last year, with bogus stories concerning developments in the Middle East being posted onto the service's Website. Another victim, the Al-Jazeera network, was used by pro-Syrian government activists to send fake texts sent via the network's messaging service.

These incidents - and in particular the latest attack on the CBS Twitter accounts, which may also have contained links to malware sites - make it clear just how important it is to install proper security measures on any system. If it is this easy for hackers to hi-jack these obviously well-protected official sites, how much easier is it for them to attack/ hack into the sites of small companies/ personal users?

What's more, clicking on a link provided by what is believed to be an official, reputable news provider also places users at an increased risk of their computer becoming infected by the malware hidden on the sites these links lead to. Often used to access users' personal details/ sensitive information in order to commit financial/ identity theft, this type of malware can cause untold issues from rendering a system virtually useless to huge financial and/ or data losses. Up-to-date anti-virus/ malware software is subsequently of utmost importance, not only for businesses, but also for personal Internet users.

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