I love seeing how Rupert Murdoch’s poodles at News International react to news stories carried about them by the BBC. The latest round in the fisticuffs between the two media behemoths started on Wednesday when the BBC carried a story about Geoff Webster, The Sun’s deputy editor being charged with allegedly authorising two payments to public officials for information.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, Webster was charged with conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office, relating to payments totalling £8,000. The charges are part of the Metropolitan Police's Operation Elveden, a probe into illegal payments to public officials.

Not to be outdone, The Sun yesterday carried a tit-for-tat story about the BBC weather team's official Twitter account being hijacked with a series of sinister tweets posted by backers of Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad. The Sunclaims that the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) – a propaganda-spreading cyber group which backs Assad – hacked the account.

The Sun reported, “The tweets forecast ‘hazardous fog’ as it was claimed Syrian rebels fighting Assad were going to launch chemical weapons. The @BBCArabicOnline and @BBCRadioUlster accounts, which along with @BBCWeather have more than 120,000 followers were also targeted.”

However, both of these stories have been overshadowed by the news that a hacking attack that brought down three South Korean broadcasters and two major banks has been identified by most commentators as North Korea flexing its muscles as military tensions on the divided peninsula rapidly escalate.

According to Engineering and Technology (E&T) magazine, officials in Seoul traced the breach to a server in China, a country that has been used by North Korean hackers in the past.

However, Rob Weil, operations manager at penetration testing company Hedgehog Security, is sceptical about all the finger wagging at China that we in the West seem to be so fond of. Weil believes that the attack could have originated from anywhere, with China being framed for the misdemeanour.

Wishing you all a cyber attack-free weekend from all of us here at Stone Junction, your friendly neighbourhood technical PR agency.

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Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti /

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