Fox Twitter Feed Hacked – Falsely Reports President Passed
Security Hacks – Fox Hack
Fox Hack by Script Kiddies creates panic
July 4th breaks with frightening “news”
After a hack of the @foxnewspolitics account on Twitter, two messages, then deleted from the feed, the first taking credit for a hack and another directed at Anonymous read:
The account then posted a message stating “Just regained full access to our Twitter and email. Happy 4th” posted at approximately 2 AM Eastern.
The real hack began moments later with this disturbing post: “@BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead. A sad 4th of July, indeed. President Barack Obama is dead”
This message was then re-tweeted hundreds of times, many as recent as 2 minutes ago, 9:30 AM Eastern:
Both Huffington Post and Mashable were quickly aware of the hack, and HuffPost captured a Script Kiddies logo change prior to the second, more disturbing “Obama Tweet.
More interesting is that the hack messages still appear on the @foxnewspolitics account (Tweets were removed at 1:15 PM EDT), which may indicate that Fox News is experiencing challenges regaining control of the account, or may be left as a part of an ongoing investigation. We hope the latter as per this message from Fox News:
“FoxNews.com alerted the U.S. Secret Service, which is declining public comment. Jeff Misenti, vice president and general manager of Fox News Digital, said FoxNews.com is working with Twitter to address the situation as quickly as possible.
“We will be requesting a detailed investigation from Twitter about how this occurred, and measures to prevent future unauthorized access into FoxNews.com accounts,” Misenti said.
The main @foxnews Twitter account has not commented, however the Fox News website did post a brief article on their main website stating
“FoxNews.com’s Twitter feed for political news, FoxNewspolitics, was hacked early Monday morning.
Hackers sent out several malicious and false tweets claiming that President Obama had been assassinated. 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. Read more here“
While hacks exploiting the power of social media to spread rumor are annoying and potentially damaging to brands and companies, the very nature of this particular hack is exceptionally disturbing.
Protecting Your Company During “Down Time”
Attacks of this type during a holiday are not uncommon – social media monitoring teams require 24-hour awareness, but in reality, is this really possible? How quickly could your company become aware and respond at 3 AM in the morning, to this or any emergency?
Additionally, the primary, we assume more closely monitored, main Fox Twitter account was not hacked; a more vulnerable target was chosen instead.
Do you know your account(s) vulnerabilities?
From a business point of view, what would happen to your company’s stock if false reports of this nature were allowed for even minutes? How would you respond quickly? Do you have a plan in place?
UPDATE 11:53 07/04/2011: Think Magazine secured an interview with a purported member of Script Kiddies (the site since crashed due to traffic but is now up). They have also posted the interview on their Facebook Page HERE