Members of the Syrian Electronic Army recently took over the Associated Press’ @AP Twitter account and posted a single tweet stating, “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.”
The hackers also took over the AP’s @AP_Mobile account, but on that account they simply tweeted, “Syrian Electronic Army Was Here via @Official_SEA6 #SEA #Syria.”
In response, the AP’s Media Relations team tweeted at @AP_CorpComm, “Advisory: @AP Twitter account has been hacked. Tweet about an attack at the White House is false. We will advise more as soon as possible.”
The @AP Twitter feed was quickly suspended, along with other AP Twitter feeds, and the AP noted in an article on the attack that the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen approximately 143 points from 14,697 to 14,554 following the fake tweet, before quickly recovering.
The Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility for the attack in a blog post, noting, “This small tweet created some chaos in the United States in addition to a decline in some U.S. stocks.”
AP reporter Mike Baker also noted on Twitter, “The @AP hack came less than an hour after some of us received an impressively disguised phishing email.”
And according to SilverSky Level III Security Analyst Richard Westmoreland, it’s likely that the hackers got access to more than just a couple of Twitter accounts. “The Twitter account is the tip of the iceberg and a sign that a much larger compromise of the company is possible/probable,” Westmoreland said in a statement.