Surprisingly, this really happened yesterday. The New York Post and United Press International had their Twitter accounts hacked, with both companies tweeting that the Federal Reserve was going to make an emergency announcement regarding interest rates. But even more disturbing, the companies also tweeted the Chinese had fired a missile on a U.S. warship.
The New York Post’s Sunday editor caught the fake tweet when it came through at 1 p.m. and immediately tweeted, “Our Twitter feed has been hacked.” The company then issued a statement saying, “Some New York Post Twitter accounts were briefly hacked and the matter is being investigated,” reports Bloomberg News.
Bloomberg News is saying that Twitter issued a statement saying it does not comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons.
United Press International allowed the fake messages to remain up on their Twitter account but did post a response, tweeting their account had also been hacked, and thankfully, World War III had not started.
These most recent attacks are part of a growing number of cyber incidents worldwide affecting government, social media and other websites. In this latest Twitter account breach, the hackers used malware to break into the Posy’s and UPI’s accounts, getting the user-names and passwords.
This is also not the first time that hackers have gained access to news media accounts, and it apparently happens more than people know. One classic example occurred in July, 2011, when Fox News’ Twitter feed was hacked. Fox News then tweeted that President Barack Obama had been assassinated.
As the great American humorist, Will Rogers said – “All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that’s an alibi for my ignorance.” Looks like we have to apply this wisdom to everything we read on social media and other Internet sites.