Hacked Sky News Twitter account claims James Murdoch arrested

Filed Under: Law & order, Social networks, Spam, Twitter

The official Twitter account controlled by the business desk of Sky News was apparently hacked last night to display a false message claiming that News Corporation's Chief Executive and Chairman James Murdoch had been arrested by police in London.

Tweet from Sky News Biz account

BREAKING: James Murdoch arrested over phone-hacking claims. Questioned at Paddington Green police station at 10pm.

The false tweet was erased within minutes, but not before other Twitter users had shared it across the network. The @SkyNewsBiz account was later updated to deny the story, and claim that a hacker was most likely responsible:

James Murdoch, of course, has been appearing in the headlines rather than writing them - after being questioned about his company's knowledge of "phone hacking" by the News of the World.

James MurdochA tweet from Sky News - another Murdoch company - claiming that News International's embattled chief executive has been arrested would certainly cause quite a stir.

Whether a hacker was really to blame, rather than a joker working on the Sky News business desk, is unclear. Certainly, the false news tweeted out did not share the hallmarks of other news-related Twitter accounts that have been hacked in the past including NBC News and USA Today.

Remember to exercise tight control over who has access to your corporate Twitter account, and follow safe computing practices to ensure that your password is not easy to guess and remains secret.

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About the author

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, and 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.