Fox News Twitter account hacked, claims President Obama killed

By on July 4, 2011, 12:59 PM

The Fox News Politics Twitter account, which FoxNews.com uses to publish its political news on Twitter, was hacked earlier this morning. The hackers, who identified themselves as "The Script Kiddies" and said they shared the spirit of prominent hacking group Anonymous, sent out several malicious and false tweets claiming that President Obama had been assassinated, according to The Telegraph.

Tweets included "BREAKING NEWS: President @BarackObama assassinated, 2 gunshot wounds have proved too much. It's a sad 4th for #america. #obamadead RIP" and "#ObamaDead, it's a sad 4th of July. RT to support the late president's family, and RIP. The shooter will be found" as well as "@BarackObama shot twice at a Ross' restaurant in Iowa while campaigning. RIP Obama, best regards to the Obama family." Since the Fox News Politics Twitter has over 34,000 followers, the tweets spread like wildfire on the social network.

Those reports were of course incorrect. The president is spending the July 4 holiday with his family at the White House. The tweets have since been removed from the feed, but the damage has already been done.

FoxNews.com says it alerted the US Secret Service about the issue. Jeff Misenti, vice president and general manager of Fox News Digital, said FoxNews.com was 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 news website also published a short statement apologizing to its readers. "FoxNews.com regrets any distress the false tweets may have created."

What makes this particularly worrying is that the Twitter account in question is a Verified Account. Twitter launched this option as a beta on June 11, 2009, allowing famous or notable people to announce their Twitter account name. The home pages of these accounts display a Verified Account badge, but when they're hacked this status just ends up working against them.

Twitter needs an option to let users retract tweets in some way. The company would have to verify a request to do so, but there needs to be a way to fight back against episodes like this one.




User Comments: 17

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howzz1854 said:

someone, some people are going to prison for a VERY long time. it's all fun and game until you and your friends end up in the prison picking up soaps.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Huh. Even if this had truly been Fox News, I wouldn't even be surprised.

howzz1854 said:

someone, some people are going to prison for a VERY long time. it's all fun and game until you and your friends end up in the prison picking up soaps.

Oh no, <i>never</i> pick up the soap...!

Prosercunus said:

Wow.... on 4th of July even? Some people really are shameless.

Guest said:

I agree 100%

It is a big lol moment and now it filters down to someone potentially getting some serious legal action against them.

I bet no harm have come from this,apart from the security guys from twitter who now have explaining to do...big time!

lipe123 said:

maybe that password of fox123 on the account was a little insecure?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Oh no, <i>never</i> pick up the soap...!
If the 300 pound man serving life for triple homicide told you to, would you pick it up then....? .

ColdPreacher said:

Gladly, with smiling cheeks.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

[Quote]said they shared the spirit of prominent hacking group Anonymous

.....******* teenagers. Anonymous always has a dignified purpose to their attacks. This was just children trying to be funny. Anonymous doesn't attack for the simple fact that they can. Don't put yourself in the same group as them.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

captaincranky said:

Oh no, <i>never</i> pick up the soap...!
If the 300 pound man serving life for triple homicide told you to, would you pick it up then....? .

I believe I would take a chance and risk it by fighting him... That, or I would learn to pick up the soap with my feet.

Mindwraith said:

hope they catch those little asses and put them behind bars

example1013 said:

matrix86 said:

said they shared the spirit of prominent hacking group Anonymous

.....******* teenagers. Anonymous always has a dignified purpose to their attacks. This was just children trying to be funny. Anonymous doesn't attack for the simple fact that they can. Don't put yourself in the same group as them.

You mean like when they deface facebook memorials?

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Serves them right

FoxNews.com says it alerted the US Secret Service about the issue.

Okay, so I deduct from this that, US Secret Service has nothing 'productive' to do, other then helping a bunch hysterical newscasters.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Serves them right

Okay, so I deduct from this that, US Secret Service has nothing 'productive' to do, other then helping a bunch hysterical newscasters.

Actually, the standards for the Secret Service getting involved in an issue like this are very broad.

First, a post like "Obama has been killed", can easily be interpreted as a veiled threat.

Given that Obama is reasonably popular, and also a minority figurehead, it's just as easy to tack on, "risking a catastrophe", insisting that he's been murdered.

I really don't have any sympathy for the so called "hacktivist groups". They mostly have been stealing peoples personal information, then going on about how big a favor they're doing us, by doing so.

I'd rather have my personal info left where it is. Since I don't know who I'm dealing with, I certainly can't know which direction their moral compass is actually pointing, so to speak.

I suppose these groups would be popular with the crap a** teeny boppers that seem to make up a large portion of our membership.

After all, they have no personal info to be stolen, and if it happens to their parents, then , "so what".

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Although I would agree with your concern about this whole nonsense. Luckily beyond few very essentials I have nothing to worry about with such hacks.

First, a post like "Obama has been killed", can easily be interpreted as a veiled threat.

Even then, I mean it is just a hoax, and Secret Service would know much before the Fox people if anything unfortunate happens to Mr. O. Beside, if they can't figure out any dangers to him before time, what sort of service standards they may have? It just seems like overreaction to me.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

lipe123 said:

maybe that password of fox123 on the account was a little insecure?

yeah now it's fox@123

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

captaincranky said:

Oh no, <i>never</i> pick up the soap...!
If the 300 pound man serving life for triple homicide told you to, would you pick it up then....? .

I never said I wouldn't do it. Just advised against it. Although if a 300-pound, homicidal prisoner told me to pick up a soap, I believe picking up the soap would be the least of my worries in a place like that.

treetops treetops said:

Messing with a newsgroup owned by politicians or vice versa yikes. Those is some brave hackas.

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