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AP Twitter account hacked, message affects Dow Jones

updated 02:02 pm EDT, Tue April 23, 2013

Over 130 points lost, regained after false attack on White House

The Twitter account of the Associated Press news agency falsely declared an attack on the White House, after hackers took control of the account. The message, appearing on the AP's main Twitter feed, has since been confirmed as "bogus" by the agency, but not before it negatively-affected the Dow Jones for a short period of time.

The posting said "Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured" according to The Verge. Two other accounts, one for AP's corporate messages and one for the AP Stylebook, advised on the false posting. The main account itself has been suspended, in order to prevent other spurious messages from being broadcast.

The effects of the fake message affected financial markets adversely. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped from 14697.79 to 14566.94 in the space of four minutes, a fall of 130 points. Within minutes, the Dow Jones managed to regain most of its losses, likely from people realizing the illegitimacy of the message.

AP has since released a statement about the attack, in that a phishing attempt was made on the AP corporate network prior to the message broadcast.

The power of the Twitter message is likely to have been magnified by the use of Twitter during the Boston Marathon bombings last week, which saw Twitter providing a role for its users to monitor the attack as it happened, the aftermath, and the subsequent police manhunt for the suspects.



By Electronista Staff
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