The main twitter account of the Associated Press was hacked on Tuesday afternoon, sending out a false news claiming that Obama was injured in a White House explosion, which caused a sharp drop and a quick rebound in the U. S. stock market.
The hackers tweeted "Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured" at 12:07 p.m. via the AP's official twitter account @AP, which instantly got more than 3,000 retweets and drew widely attention from local media and twitter users. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 150 points minutes after the false alert, then quickly bounced back to normal after traders learned that the White House was not attacked.
At 1:12 p.m., the AP released an official statement via another Twitter account @AP_Politics, saying "The (at)AP twitter account has been hacked. The tweet about an attack at the White House is false. We will advise more as soon as possible."
Jay Carney, Obama's press secretary, told the press that the president was unharmed.
Later, the AP confirmed that another Twitter account of the news organization, @AP_Mobile, was also hacked and will be suspended soon.
A group named "The Syrian Electronic Army" later claimed on Twitter that they did the cyber attack, saying that "Ops! @ap get owned by Syrian Electronic Army! #SEA #Syria twitter. com/Official_SEA6/..."
This is the third high-profile twitter hack incident in U.S. in recent months. In February, Burger King and Jeep both saw their official Twitter accounts hacked.
Currently, Twitter offers the same login procedure to both individual customers and companies. One only needs the username and the password to get into a Twitter account. Most other famous online services, like Google and Facebook, provide "two-step verifications" through which more protection is available.
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