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Associated Press Twitter Account Hacked, False Reports of White House Explosions Cause Dow to Plummet

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After two fake tweets were posted on Associated Press’ Twitter account, questions arose over the security of Twitter and the validity of breaking news on social media sites.

False reports of White House explosions and an injured Obama sent Dow Jones plummeting by 143 points, in an unnervingly similar scene of Hollywood’s most recent “fall of government” film fad. The tweet began a series of answers to “what-if” scenarios regarding the collapse or overtake of the US government.

The hackers claim to be a group called the Syrian Electronic Army, who recently took over Twitter accounts belonging to CBS and Sepp Blatter, and the Qatar Foundation twitter account in March.

“Need a new career?” The SEA posted, “Qutar Foundation will fund your training as a terrorist in Syria.”

The SEA appears to have no clear motivation in hacking, except that they have the ability to do so.

Bloomberg, a proponent of Twitter and its use in the market, announced it would add Twitter to its terminals despite the recent inaccuracies and being the source of a “flash crash”. This is a considerably progressive step considering some firms don’t allow any access to Twitter, arguing that it is dangerous for touchy investors and, if nothing else, distracting.

The mock-tweets occurred only days after multiple sources reported Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was dead, information that also stemmed from Twitter rumors.

In response to its security issue, Twitter has announced a “two-factor authentication” option, supposedly making hacking impossible. No release date has been announced.

Sources: The Guardian, Quartz


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