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24 April 2013, 09:58

Associated Press Twitter hack makes Dow Jones Index blip

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Associated Press logo The Twitter account belonging to the Associated Press (@AP) news service has been compromised and misused to deploy a bogus news item. On Tuesday night, the following tweet appeared on the agency's Twitter page: "Breaking: Two Explosions in The White House and Barack Obama is injured". Shortly afterwards, the AP account was suspended. Associated Press then used different accounts to correct this statement and explain that its main account had been hacked. It also announced that all of its Twitter accounts would be suspended "until we can be assured of their security".

The bogus tweet temporarily affected the Dow Jones US stock market index which dropped 140 points but rapidly recovered after the Whitehouse press secretary Jay Carney said "The president is fine, I was just with him" thus debunking speculation over the tweet.

How the hackers gained control of AP's account is currently unknown; however, according to AP employee Mike Baker, the hack occurred less than an hour after various AP employees received "an impressively disguised phishing email". A number of high-profile twitter accounts have recently been compromised. In one of the more recent incidents, hackers who claimed to belong to the "Syrian Electronic Army" exploited the official FIFA account to deploy bogus tweets saying that FIFA president Joseph "Sepp" Blatter had stepped down because of corruption allegations.


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