Hackers send fake AP ‘White House bomb’ tweet

False Associated Press Twitter statement causes market dive in seconds

Tags: Associated Press (AP)Cyber crimeTwitter IncorporationUSA
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Hackers send fake AP ‘White House bomb’ tweet Cyber pranksters hacked an AP Twitter account and tweeted that explosions had occurred at the White House. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  April 24, 2013

The Associated Press said yesterday that a cyber attack was responsible for the false Twitter message sent through one of its accounts that announced explosions at the White House, online media report.

The fake tweet, which also claimed President Barack Obama had been injured in the blast, had an almost instantaneous affect on markets, reportedly causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to start tumbling within seconds.

The effect of the recent twin bombings of the Boston Marathon and the reputation of the AP - founded in 1846, and now operating a network of more than 2,000 journalists worldwide - may help to explain the level of panic in the exchanges, which each reached a low of approximately 1% down on initial levels.

The markets recovered when the AP sent a tweet from another account, discrediting the first post.

While reports vary on the exact timing of the posts, the incident occurred minutes after 1pm EST yesterday and the market dived and recovered to its previous trading level within five minutes.

Yesterday's fake tweet was not the first hoax orchestrated in the US through Twitter. Hackers dampened Fourth of July celebrations in 2011 when they hacked a Fox News twitter account and announced the death of President Barack Obama.

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