Twitter hackers take over AP account, false tweet briefly shakes Wall Street

Tweeted reports that the White House is on fire are bogus, an AP spokesman said

Twitter hack

Credit: Zach Miners, IDG News Service

The top-most tweet posted to the AP's account, now suspended after being hacked, was bogus.

A tweet posted on the Associated Press account Tuesday reporting two explosions at the White House was bogus and is the result of a hack, the news organization said.

"Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured," said a tweet posted around 1 p.m. ET to the AP's Twitter feed.

[RELATED: Worst data breaches of 2013 (so far)]

The @AP account has since been suspended on the site. "This was a bogus tweet ... the account has been hacked," Paul Colford, director of media relations at the AP, confirmed.

"We will advise more as soon as possible," he said in an email.

The AP Twitter feed "was hacked," CBS News also said in a tweet. "Disregard any AP tweets about disturbance at WH or injuries," it read.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 150 points upon launch of the bogus tweet, but the market immediately recovered when word spread it was the result of a hack.

Twitter, and several other media accounts on the site, have been the target of other hacks in recent months. In February the site announced that its servers had been breached by "extremely sophisticated" hackers who may have made off with user names and passwords for about 250,000 accounts.

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have also recently been targeted by hackers on the site. And the Twitter accounts for three CBS brands, including "60 Minutes" and "48 Hours," were also hijacked just this past weekend.

At this point it is unclear who is behind the AP attacks, although Twitter appears to have suspended and secured the account. Twitter could not immediately be reached to comment.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

From CSO: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies