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Fake Syria and Wikileaks stories posted as Reuters & NYT journalists suffer hacks

News service Reuters was the target of a blogging platform hack at the end of last week.

The company first tweeted the news Friday afternoon, saying that its blogging platform was compromised and "fabricated blog posts were falsely attributed to several Reuters journalists."

One of the stories, which Reuters deemed as "illegal," was posted under Breakingviews columnist Jeffrey Goldfarb's name. It falsified an interview with Riad al-Asaad, the head of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The work of fiction claimed that the FSA leader allegedly said his forces were withdrawing from the northern province of Aleppo after clashes with the Syrian army.

"Reuters did not carry out such an interview and the posting has been deleted," the company wrote on Twitter.

The FSA also issued a statement denying the interview, blaming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government for the posting, according to Reuters. Reporters in Aleppo confirmed fighters are still present in the region.

The wire site later released a news story detailing the fake post, after its blog was taken offline.

A statement from a Thomson Reuters spokeswoman echoed the earlier tweets and provided no further information about the possible culprit.

"We are working to address the problem," the spokeswoman said.

Former New York Times editor Bill Keller had a similar experience recently when his byline and photo were used to lead an opinion piece about Wikileaks, which the newsman confirmed was not his work.

"THERE IS A FAKE OP-ED GOING AROUND UNDER MY NAME, ABOUT WIKILEAKS," Keller tweeted about a week ago. "EMPHASIS ON 'FAKE.' AS IN, NOT MINE."

He also debunked the rumour to AllThingsD, saying that while the op-ed was a fake, it actually stole a few lines from a GigaOM interview Keller provided last week.

"My tweet calling the fake tweet a fake was real," he told ATD. "This tweet assuring you that the tweet about the fake tweet is not fake is also real. All clear now, right? Good."