The Associated Press Twitter account was suspended after hackers used it to tweet that President Barack Obama had been hurt in a pair of explosions at the White House. The tweet read: “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.”
Readers should note that the AP puts “BREAKING” in all caps when tweeting breaking news. Also the media organization doesn’t usually tweet from the Web, which was where the hacked tweet was sent from.
In just minutes, the AP caught the fake tweet and confirmed that its account had been hacked. Twitter then suspended it. The Next Web reports that in all it took just seven minutes between the tweet from the hackers and Twitter’s suspension of the account. However, during those few minutes, the bottom fell out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average as it plummeted more than 150 points. It recovered almost instantly as soon as it was announced that the tweet was fake.
CNET discovered a tweet by the Syrian Electronic Army’s Twitter account, which seems to claim responsibility for the false tweet about the White House explosions and President Obama’s injury. “Ops! @AP get owned by Syrian Electronic Army!” the account tweeted soon after the hack was discovered.
There’s been a rash of high-profile Twitter accounts being hacked recently, but the AP’s account had the potential to do the most damage because of its link with virtually every media organization in the country. The official Twitter accounts belonging to Burger King Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:BKW) and Jeep were hacked in February as hackers posted photos of the companies’ competitors on the accounts.
Whoever operated Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIA) (NASDAQ:VIAB)’s MTV and BET Twitter accounts fake-hacked their own accounts around the same time—apparently feeling left out that so many other companies’ accounts were being hacked except theirs.
Was AP HACKED? RT @ap: Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured
— ValueWalk.com (@valuewalk) April 23, 2013