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Google claims 84 percent of online news sites are hacked by governments

Citizen journalists and bloggers also targeted
Fri Mar 28 2014, 11:20
Press conference during the G20 summit in St Petersburg

THE COMPUTER SYSTEMS of news media organisations are a key target for state-sponsored hacking, according to a Google report.

The study found that 21 of the world's top 25 news organisations have been the targets of attacks by hackers within or working for governments.

Shane Huntley and Morgan Marquis-Boire revealed the information as their paper was presented at a conference in Singapore on Friday.

Speaking to Reuters, Huntley explained, "If you're a journalist or a journalistic organisation we will see state-sponsored targeting and we see it happening regardless of region, we see it from all over the world both from where the targets are and where the targets are from."

Over the past year, the Syrian Electronic Army has hacked a number of major news organisations including CNN, the Financial Times and the New York Times.

Huntley also explained that the attacks are not limited to corporate servers but also target the accounts and computers used by bloggers and citizen journalists.

Even in the UK, where we are more used to the news media being the hackers rather than the hackees, many news organisations are only now beginning to accept that this is an issue that they need to address.

"A lot of news organisations are just waking up to this," said Marquis-Boire, but countering that he then added, "We're seeing a definite upswing of individual journalists who recognise this is important." µ


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