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FBI Investigating AP's Hacked Twitter Account

By - Source: Reuters | B 8 comments

The FBI is looking into the false tweet about bombings at The White House.

The FBI said on Tuesday evening that it is investigating how hackers broke into the Associated Press's Twitter account. FBI spokeswoman Jenny Shearer said that a case had been opened, but would not elaborate further.

Earlier on Tuesday a false tweet appeared shortly after 1 p.m., stating that there had been two explosions at the White House, and that President Obama was injured. However the explosions did not take place, and White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed that the President was doing well.

"I was just with him," Carney said in a news briefing.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also said that an investigation is currently underway. After the bogus tweet went public, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 143 points, from 14,679 to 14,554. The drop was reportedly only brief, as the industrial average recovered shortly thereafter.

Associated Press spokesman Paul Colford said that all Twitter accounts (desktop, mobile) have been disabled following the attack, and that the company is working closely with Twitter to investigate the issue. Colford also added that the hack follows a number of phishing attempts on the AP's corporate network.

That may explain how hackers gained access to the AP's Twitter accounts. Using this method, attackers typically pose as legitimate companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, in an attempt to siphon login credentials from anyone with access to the accounts. So far it's unknown how many members of the AP staff had access to the Twitter accounts prior to the attack.

Meanwhile, CBS News reports that its "60 Minutes" and "48 Hours" Twitter accounts were compromised over the weekend, and that both accounts will remain suspended until further notice. News Corp. faced a similar issue almost two years ago when hacker broke into the FOX News political Twitter account and tweeted that Obama had been assassinated.

"After years of hacks that typically involved little more than obscene language, Twitter's subpar security measures have now caused serious real-world consequences," reports CNN Money, referring to the industrial average drop following the bogus AP tweet.

Twitter may be forced to implement a two-step security option similar to what Google and Microsoft offer, requiring the user to provide both a password and a special code generated from an authenticator app, or one sent directly to the account holder's smartphone. Wired reports that Twitter already has this system up and running, and is currently undergoing internal testing.

The Syrian Electronic Army said on Tuesday that it was responsible for the Twitter hack. It has previously taken credit for a number of Web attacks on targets that are deemed sympathetic to Syria's rebels. Included in the string of attacks is the Twitter feeds of the BBC and Al-Jazeera English.

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  • -1 Hide
    MANOFKRYPTONAK , April 24, 2013 1:39 PM
    Ha ha, why would you post something like that? seems kinda strange and not helpful at all. Hacking should be for a legitimate purpose IMHO. Some dill hole did one time try to take over my email account, so I got into his facebook and posted weird homoerotic comments, like, I think I love her but can't stop thinking about him... The replys were epic. Don't mess with other peoples stuff, just to mess.
  • 7 Hide
    dalethepcman , April 24, 2013 1:46 PM
    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtains. There is no reason for anyone to post this type of false information without some kind of agenda. The only agenda I can see related to this is getting CISPA passed and taking away more freedoms. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want, but its the only dot that I can connect to this.
  • 3 Hide
    DRosencraft , April 24, 2013 2:15 PM
    Quote:
    Ha ha, why would you post something like that? seems kinda strange and not helpful at all. Hacking should be for a legitimate purpose IMHO. Some dill hole did one time try to take over my email account, so I got into his facebook and posted weird homoerotic comments, like, I think I love her but can't stop thinking about him... The replys were epic. Don't mess with other peoples stuff, just to mess.


    This is exactly the problem. One person does something stupid, and the response is equally if not more ignorant or stupid. There is no such thin as "legitimate" hacking, by anyone. Hackers fall into three categories; curious people testing/experimenting with their computer skills, malicious pranksters, and criminals. The first don't do anything; they break in, snoop around, and leave. They don't record anything, they don't disseminate anything, they just look around. It's still illegal, but you're not gonna waste too much time worrying about them (like the kid trespassing on your lawn). The malicious pranksters like to do stupid stunts. This is like LulzSec - defacing websites just because they don't like someone. Also still criminal, but about on the level a graffiti artist or a vandal.

    The last ones are the biggest problem. They're like the ones from yesterday, who cause major disruptions, cause some chaos, etc. They are individuals, groups, or governments who hack vital services, business and commerce websites, to steal data or disrupt normal activities.

    No matter the case, "hack them back" is not an effective answer. You treat them like you do with comparable crimes; trespassing in someone's computer should be the same as trespassing in someone's home or business. Vandalizing someone's website should be treated the same as vandalizing their business. I hope everyone gets the point.
  • Display all 8 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    chumly , April 24, 2013 2:18 PM
    I like how this news coincides with the freedom-taking legislation they are trying to pass. Sounds like manipulative news to me.
  • 4 Hide
    dalethepcman , April 24, 2013 2:47 PM
    Quote:
    I like how this news coincides with the freedom-taking legislation they are trying to pass. Sounds like manipulative news to me.


    Thats basically what I was talking about Chumly. Sadly the government and corporation already found a way to circumvent privacy laws whether or not CISPA is passed.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57581161-38/u.s-gives-big-secret-push-to-internet-surveillance/
  • 3 Hide
    smeezekitty , April 24, 2013 4:35 PM
    Shows how frail the US economy is. Don't blindly believe everything you see or hear.
  • -2 Hide
    unimatrixzero , April 25, 2013 2:23 AM
    These cyber terrorists cause fear and disruption, so this is exactly why CISPA is needed.
  • 0 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , April 25, 2013 7:20 AM
    Wake up people! These are distractions from the real truth