The Associated Press (AP) tweeted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013: “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured”.
Two explosions in the White House? President Barack Obama injured? The internet flew into a frenzy after the tweet went viral. Reactions varied from absolute shock and awe to cynicism from those who immediately presumed the tweet to be some sort of hacker at work.
that @ap story is def fake
— Ian Kar (@iankar_) April 23, 2013
The @ap never tweets from "web" and their last tweet was tweeted from "web."They always tweet from "socialflow."#HACKED — Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) April 23, 2013
The AP Media Relations team did confirm that the account was indeed hacked, clarifying in a tweet: “That is a bogus @AP tweet.”
That is a bogus @ap tweet.
— AP CorpComm (@AP_CorpComm) April 23, 2013
The AP Fashion Twitter also confirmed this independently via the popular short-form social media site, saying “The AP Twitter account has been hacked. No reports of bombings at White House or injuries to president.”
The AP Twitter account has been hacked. No reports of bombings at White House or injuries to president. — AP Fashion (@AP_Fashion) April 23, 2013
The Associated Press Stylebook Twitter (@APStyleBook) also tweeted about the hack.
The (at)AP twitter account has been hacked. A tweet about an attack at the White House is false. We will advise on acct. status.
— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) April 23, 2013
UPDATE: The @AP Twitter handle associated with the hacked Associated Press account is now suspended. Who hacked the AP Twitter account? Was it Anonymous, who has taken responsibility for other hacked corporate Twitters in the past? Or was it someone else?
UPDATE: 1:14 PM: The AP posts on its Facebook to announce the hack.
UPDATE: 1:40 PM: The AP posts on Facebook further elaborating on the Twitter hack, claiming that the tweet "came after hackers made repeated attempts to steal the passwords of AP journalists. The AP said Tuesday that its Twitter account had been suspended following a hack and said it was working to correct the issue. The cyberattack is the latest in a string targeting international media organizations. The tweet put out by hackers briefly sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average sharply lower."
This being Twitter, the hashtag #APTwitterPassword is now being used for people to make fun of the apparent lack of security measures controlling the Associated Press’ Twitter handle.
— Veronica De Souza (@HeyVeronica) April 23, 2013
assoc8edpress #APtwitterpassword — Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) April 23, 2013
— Brokelyn (@Brokelyn) April 23, 2013
apstyle #APtwitterpassword — Veronica De Souza (@HeyVeronica) April 23, 2013