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Fox News Twitter feed says Obama dead in apparent hack

Discussion in 'Tech, Gadgets & Science Forum' started by Edward Teller, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Edward Teller

    Edward Teller JF-Expert Member

    Jul 4, 2011
    Joined: Oct 31, 2010
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    (CNN) -- Hackers apparently broke into the FoxNews.com's Twitter feed for political news early Monday and used it to announce -- falsely -- that President Barack Obama had been assassinated.
    Obama was "shot twice at a Ross' restaurant in Iowa while campaigning. RIP Obama, best regards to the Obama family," read one of several Twitter messages posted on @FoxNewsPolitics early Monday.

    "We wish @joebiden the best of luck as our new President of the United States. In such a time of madness, there's light at the end of tunnel," the last in the series of tweets said later.
    An article on FoxNews.com confirmed the hack.
    "Hackers sent out several malicious and false tweets claiming that President Obama had been assassinated," it said. "Those reports are incorrect, of course, and the president is spending the July 4 holiday with his family.

    "The hacking is being investigated, and FoxNews.com regrets any distress the false tweets may have created."
    But six tweets related to the fake news remained on the Fox News Politics twitter feed even after hours the apology was posted.
    Fox News did not respond to CNN e-mails or phone calls about whether they were in control of @FoxNewsPoliltics.
    One of the false messages said, "it's a sad 4th of July ... The shooter will be found." That message encouraged Twitter users to repost the message on their own Twitter accounts, which would spread the fake news. Several users did just that.

    The tweets generated headlines around the world, criticisms and mockery on Twitter, with firebrand liberal TV host Keith Olbermann frantically tweeting to many individual Twitter users that Obama is fine. He asked Twitter users not to re-post the messages.
    The first of the false tweets about Obama were posted around 2 a.m. ET.
    The Twitter messages asserting that Obama had been attacked came after a message that said, "Just regained full access to our Twitter and email. Happy 4th."

    A student journalist interviewed someone claiming to be a representative of the hackers shortly before the Obama tweets were posted.
    Adam Peck of the University of Stony Brook's Think magazine reported that the hackers, calling themselves the Script Kiddies, were an offshoot of the hacker group Anonymous.
    "Without groups like Anonymous, what is there to prevent corruption?" he quoted the representative as saying.
    Peck interviewed the representative via instant message, using an account he said they tweeted from the FoxNewsPolitics account and later deleted. He said they had posted several innocuous fake messages before sending the Obama tweets, then deleted them.

    He said he could not confirm that the person he interviewed was really one of the hackers but "firmly" believed it, based on the link between fake posts on Twitter and the instant message account.
    The instant message address he gave to CNN for the hackers was offline Monday morning.

    The @FoxNewsPolitics Twitter account has 34,566 followers.
    Twitter spokeswoman Jodi Olsen said the company did not comment on individual accounts, declining to answer CNN questions about whether @FoxNewsPolitics had been hacked or why the account of the alleged hackers was suspended.