AP Twitter Account Hacked, Falsely Reported White House Explosions

Two Twitter accounts belonging to the Associated Press were hacked Tuesday afternoon, with a false tweet about explosions at the White House sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly down one percent.

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Two Twitter accounts belonging to the Associated Press were hacked Tuesday afternoon, with a false tweet about explosions at the White House sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly down one percent.

The accounts, the main account of the newswire @AP and its mobile-centric account @AP_Mobile, were both suspended shortly after the tweet as dozens of AP employees quickly debunked the rogue tweet.

The offending tweet sent by @AP was: “Breaking: Two explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.”

The tweet sparked a momentary “flash-crash” in the markets, which quickly recovered from a short sell-off. Earlier this month, following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision to allow companies to release material information via social media, Bloomberg began including tweets in its ubiquitous terminals.

A spokesperson for the SEC declined to comment on whether the regulatory agency will examine the trading. A Secret Service spokesman did not immediately have a response to the tweet.

AP’s White House correspondent Julie Pace corrected the tweet publicly at the start of the White House daily press briefing moments after it was sent.

“It appears as though AP’s Twitter account has been attacked, so anything that was just sent out … is obviously false,” she said, before continuing with the customary first question afforded to the wire.

“I appreciate that, and I can say that the president is fine, I was just with him,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed.

Hackers from then so-called “Syrian Electronic Army” took credit for compromising both accounts. The Associated Press reported that the hacking followed a phishing attempt on its corporate network. Media companies have been the target of hacking attempts for months. The same group claimed credit for hacking the Twitter account of CBS News’ “60 Minutes” last week and several hacking attempts on the BBC’s accounts, though this is by far the most prominent attack.

AP Twitter Account hacked

10 comments
notsacredh
notsacredh

Fox news building demolished in earthquake. IQs rise in the south.

tommyudo
tommyudo

Am I the only one who thinks that Twitter is a joke to start with? It has just enough characters to make a superficial comment  and nothing more. To me it's a perfect example of an available technology that is tech for tech sake, otherwise a useless toy.

Tweet, tweet :-)

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

The stock market (Dow) dropped around 140 points in one minute over that tweet, then bounced right back. CNBC covered that (and covered that and covered that and covered that...). My best guess of the cause is a mix of computer microtrading and search algorithims scanning news headlines to capture instant trades.

billorights
billorights

Was the hacker's IP address tracked back to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.?

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

I saw that tweet and thought it was a bad taste joke or parody. Twitter quickly corrected itself as many legit reporters - and AP - leaped in at once and called it fake. Twitter and Facebook (which I don't use) are just more tools for communicating, no more or less. I'm way more concerned about sloppy reporting such as the error-filled early Boston reports, especially the Bag Men mess (hmm, why do NY Post and CNN come to mind? Coincidence?)

http://www.theonion.com/articles/this-is-a-tragedydoes-it-really-matter-exactly-how,32076/?ref=auto

Hungry_Chicky
Hungry_Chicky

How is AP suppose to know to use a strong password?  That's too complicated.  And how it Twitter suppose to know that 2-stage password verification is needed.  That's far, far too tricky and complex to install.  (Two HUGE billion dollar corps... that can't figure out simple, basic info.)

notsacredh
notsacredh

I have never tweeted. It falls into that "Things I'll never do" category.

jmac
jmac

@billorights How about Wall Street playing with super computers making nanosecond decisions?   It's not about companies anymore - it's pure gambling.   You want to blame someone?  Maybe you can figure out who doesn't want to regulate Wall Street.