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“I know it’s true because I got it from the Internet!” – Reuters Hacked by Pro-Assad Group to publich Propaganda August 6, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in competitive intelligence, cyberespionage, cybersecurity.
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Reuters acknowledged that on August 3rd, their blogging platform was hacked and a false, pro-Assad post was published.  “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.”  Additionally, Reuters Twitter account was hacked and used to tweat several false, and pro-Assad messages.   While this type of propaganda has been going on for as long as news has been published, the ease of which a person or group can publish on the Internet coupled with the speed at which it can spread creates new challenges for companies.  Imagine a situation in which a company is hacked and fraudulent financial data is released before an IPO?  As the US Presidential elections ramp up, we are seeing increasing numbers of stories and claims that can only be categorized as propaganda.  In fact, unless you clicked on the links above and checked the underlying domains, you have no real confidence that this particular post is true, or accurate. 😉

It is important for companies to monitor the news that is being distributed about the organization.  I have worked at an organization where we found someone who had intentionally published misleading and malicious information in an attempt to promote a competitor.  While it did not require hacking a news system to publish the story, it is yet another area that exposes companies to unnecessary risk.

“Proxy Wars 101” – Russian Attack Helicopters Caught Bound for Syria June 19, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in News.
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According to a story on MSNBC, a ship carrying military attack helicopters and missiles from Russia to Syria was stopped off the coast of the UK yesterday.  The insurers cancelled the coverage of the ship forcing it to turn back.  The interesting part of this scenario is the fact that the ship was carrying Russian Mi25 (HIND) attack helicopters to Syria.  Thee Mi25 is one of the most noticeable and lethal attack helicopters in history.  It was highlighted in numerous movies including Red Dawn and Rambo 3.  It is very effective at ground support.  For those  who have been living in a cave for the past few months, Syria is currently engaged in a revolution and the government has been accused of a brutal crackdown on the revolt with the indiscriminate killing of civilians.  The international community has nearly universally condemned Assad’s actions….nearly.  Russia and China appear to in support of the Assad regime.  Syria and Russia have a long standing relationship extending to the days of the Soviet Union. You can read more about it here. (more…)

“Pot…Meet Kettle”…Syria Urges UN to Stop Terrorism in Damascus (cough, cough) May 10, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in News, terrorism, weapons and tactics.
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I had to comment on an article I just read on MSNBC.com titled: “Syria Urges UN to Stop ‘Terrorism’ Following Damascus Blasts”.  The basis of the article is that Assad’ government is claiming that the two bombs that went off in Damascus yesterday (35 killed and over 300 wounded) is evidence of “foreign terrorism”.  According to the article: “Syria’s foreign ministry said the bombing was a sign the country is facing foreign-backed terrorism and called on the United Nations Security Council to take measures against countries or groups supporting violence in the revolt against President Bashar Assad.”  While I try to keep this blog professional and on the up and up, I do have to say that Syria sure has some…(ahem)…cajones to make a plea like that. “Syria stresses the importance of the UNSC taking measures against countries, groups and news agencies that are practicing and encouraging terrorism,” the state news agency SANA quoted the ministry as saying in a letter addressed to the Security Council.  Lets take a spin over to the Council on Foreign Relations website to investigate our friends in Syria. (not the citizens but the government). 

Does Syria support terrorism? (from the CFR website) (more…)

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