Fox News Twitter account announces Barack Obama dead after hack

Filed Under: Data loss, Social networks, Spam, Twitter

An official Twitter account belonging to the political team at Fox News has been compromised and fallen into the hands of hackers who have posted false stories claiming that Barack Obama has been assassinated.

The messages were posted at approximately 2am local time, and were quickly retweeted across the network.

Fox News tweets

Messages posted to the @FoxNewsPolitics account included:

BREAKING NEWS: President @BarackObama assassinated, 2 gunshot wounds have proved too much. It's a sad 4th for #america. #obamadead RIP

and

We wish @joebiden the best of luck as our new President of the United States. In such a time of madness, there's light at the end of tunnel

The rogue tweets seem to have begun after a message was posted on the FoxNewsPolitics account saying "Just regained full access to our Twitter and email. Happy 4th".

That message implies that whoever hacked into the account compromised the email address of the person who administers the FoxNewsPolitics account, giving an unknown third-party the ability to post tweets at will.

At the time of writing the false announcements are still present on the FoxNewsPolitics Twitter page - the July 4th Independence Day holiday may mean that no-one at Fox has been able to log into the account to remove the tweets.

A Twitter account calling itself "TheScriptKiddie" has claimed responsibility for the attack, but has since been suspended.

The Fox media empire appears to have drawn a lot of fire from hackers in recent months. In May, hackers stole details of employees usernames and passwords and defaced Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

Previously, the personal information of more than 250,000 people was stolen from Fox's The X Factor show.

Although some may be amused by the latest hack, users can clearly be put at risk if an account is exploited by somebody with malicious intentions (they could link to a website containing malware, as we recently saw with the recent breach of Simon Pegg's account for instance).

The employees of Fox responsible for the administration of the company's social media accounts might be wise to refresh their knowledge of password security and check that their computers have not been compromised with spyware.

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9 Responses to Fox News Twitter account announces Barack Obama dead after hack

  1. If the hacked fox account had given permission to third party apps to post on their profile, shouldn't it read via [third party app]? The Fox's profile just read via web.

  2. sunbimr · 1155 days ago

    LOL, I guess the news here is that supposedly sane people actually follow FoxNews...

  3. The offending tweets has been removed as of 7 hours ago (about 5 PM BST). That means the tweets were there for NINE hours!

  4. Liberal · 1155 days ago

    and here you thought the Republicans were just celebrating the Fourth of July LOL

  5. Read the link posted by ttw7, Fox worded it to make it sound like it was Twitters fault - sneaky...
    "We will be requesting a detailed investigation from Twitter about how this occurred, and measures to prevent future unauthorized access into FoxNews.com accounts," Misenti said"

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.