There’s nothing even remotely amusing about this: some stupid kids – actual age unknown – have taken over the (verified) @FoxNewsPolitics Twitter account and posted a series of messages declaring U.S. President Barack Obama dead on the eve of the Fourth of July, the national day of the United States.
The ‘hackers’ appear to have taken over the account around 2 AM Eastern time, and went on to claim President Obama was shot twice at an Iowa restaurant, that he passed away soon thereafter, and that the shooter’s identity was unknown.
By the time this post was published, the account had seen no tweets for a couple of hours, but neither was it suspended or were any of the fake reports deleted, so whoever gained access to the Twitter account may still have it.
Update: the Fox News website now shows a message saying:
FoxNews.com’s Twitter feed for political news, FoxNewspolitics, was hacked early Monday morning.
Hackers sent out several malicious and false tweets claiming that President Obama had been assassinated. Those reports are incorrect, of course, and the president is spending the July 4 holiday with his family.
The hacking is being investigated, and FoxNews.com regrets any distress the false tweets may have created.
Update 2: from Twitter’s communication team:
While Twitter does monitor accounts for brute-force login attempts and similar methods of attack, we’re unable to anticipate compromises that take place due to offsite behavior.
Generally speaking, we suggest using an email address associated with your domain or, if you do not have one, using two-factor authentication or being aware of best practices around password security in order to prevent attacks.
We’ve heard from Fox News that they have identified the offsite vector that led to the compromise, and would encourage follow-up with them about the details of how that compromise took place.
@FoxNewsPolitics has around 33,000 followers, but evidently many of the tweets have been retweeted and spread rapidly across the network.
Multiple reports claim there were more tweets, some declaring the successful hacking of the account, which have since been deleted. One of them reportedly read:
“Fox news politics hacked by the scrip tkiddies! http://t.co/6yZDcTS more embarrassment for FoxNews is imitate”
The link in the tweet led to another Twitter account, which has since been suspended.
THINK claims to have spoken to a ‘representative’ of The Script Kiddies, who said:
“I would consider us to be close in relation to Anonymous, 2 of the members of our group were members of Anonymous. I was a member of Anonymous.
We hope to be working with them soon.”
He or she also said this was only the beginning, and explained why Fox News was singled out:
“We are looking to find information about corporations to assist with antisec.
Fox News was selected because we figured their security would be just as much of a joke as their reporting.”
They also appear to have talked to The Hacker News, if you’re interested.