Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hackers Get Fox News to Report Tragedy

Here’s another reason why I don’t have a Twitter account.

A series of alarming Twitter posts about President Obama appeared on Fox News’s Twitter account for political news early Monday morning, and the Web site for the cable television network said it was a victim of hacking.

The Twitter account, @foxnewspolitics, one of many operated by Fox News, claimed that the president had been fatally shot while campaigning in Iowa, but gave no source for the news. On Monday morning, FoxNews.com first posted a brief statement saying that the reports were incorrect, and that it regretted “any distress the false Tweets may have created.”

The six messages were removed around noon on Monday, about 10 hours after being posted, but not before attracting a flurry of attention.

Because of the seriousness of the content, senior Secret Service officials held a conference call Monday morning to discuss the posts, said a law enforcement official who requested anonymity because of the investigation into the matter.

A spokesman for the Secret Service, George Ogilvie, said, “We are investigating the matter and will be conducting appropriate follow-up.” The White House declined to comment.

Whoever did this is going to find out that no, the Secret Service cannot take a joke.