Associated Press Twitter Account Suspended after Hacking, False Tweet Led to Temporary Drop in Dow Jones Average

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The Twitter account used by The Associated Press was taken over by a hacker or hackers on Tuesday and then incorrectly reported that two explosions took place in the White House and that President Barack Obama was injured.  


A short time later, the @AP Twitter account was suspended, but not before the Tweet may have led to the Dow Industrial Average losing over 100 points, the news media reported. The Dow soon rebounded in later trading.

“From 1:08 pm to 1:10 pm, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 100 points, from 14697.15 to 14548.58. Just as quickly though, it rebounded. By 1:13, it was back above 14690,” Bloomberg reported.

Also, the false Tweet was totally incorrect. "That's a bogus tweet," an AP spokesperson told NBC News about the posting.

The AP Twitter account has close to 2 million followers, and the erroneous message was re-tweeted many times.

It was also reported that hackers tried to obtain passwords used by AP journalists.

The hacking incident follows a hacking over the weekend of the Twitter accounts belonging to "60 Minutes" and "48 Hours" – two news programs from CBS, and a local CBS station.

The CBS attack was believed to have been connected to Syrian hacking activists, TechZone360 reported.

As of 2:30 PM ET Tuesday, it appears that the hacking on the AP Twitter account was also done by the Syrian Electronic Army – or at least the group suggested it was responsible.

VentureBeat reported that the group, “Tweeted a picture of the bogus tweet sent out on the AP’s official account” – which reads “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.”

That was followed by another Tweet, “Ops! @AP gets owned by Syrian Electronic Army! #SEA #Syria #ByeByeObama,” according to a report from VentureBeat.

There were no such explosions at the White House and the President is fine, a White House official said.

It was also reported today that Twitter was partially down for some time and the problem causing it was being worked on to get the service back up as fast as possible, TechZone360 reported. 




Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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