Hackers attacked Yahoo! Inc.(NASDAQ:YHOO) News’ Twitter feed late Sunday afternoon. They posted a story about an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Atlanta, according to a report from USA Today. Later, Yahoo went on its Twitter account to say that that the news was unofficial and included misinformation on Ebola. The company requested that its followers ignore the tweet.
Yahoo clarified on its Twitter account, saying, “Earlier, an unauthorized tweet with misinformation on Ebola was sent from this account; please disregard that tweet.”
Not much damage done
The unauthorized tweet from Yahoo News was posted at 5.p.m ET Sunday. It said that the Ebola virus has infected 145 people in Atlanta. The message was up for only about 10 minutes before Yahoo deleted it, but in such a short time, it was retweeted at least 736 times. Yahoo’s clarification tweet was retweeted at least 50 times.The internet company said it is investigating the matter with the help of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) to zero in on the source of the tweet.
Last week, two infected patients were taken to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta to receive experimental drugs for curing Ebola. However, no cure for the virus has yet been discovered.
Twitter a favorite among hackers
Emory Healthcare spokesman Vincent Dollard exclaimed, “Wow,” when he heard the news. He clarified that the disease has not spread, so the public should not be concerned about the treatment of the two patients.
The Ebola virus has hit West Africa hard and become a concern for the world. In such a situation, an outbreak in Atlanta would have made the situation worse. The intention behind the fake tweet was not known. Some users were taken by shock after reading the news on Twitter, while others knew that it was a hoax. Some users went to the extent of writing comments such as, “Yahoo News just changed its password from 1234,” on Twitter.
Twitter has been one of the favorite platforms of hackers who announce their accomplishments when they break into another website. Just a few days ago, a hacker announced on Twitter that they had hacked Anglo-German Company Gamma International UK Ltd., makers of FinFisher spyware, which is supplied to the government and police agencies. The software made by the company can control the computers from remote distances and copy files, intercept Skype calls and log keystrokes.