"Colin was here" - Sky News Twitter not hacked as a "disaster recovery" test message is accidentally posted

Filed Under: Featured, Twitter

Ah Colin, we were wondering where you were.

The Sky News Twitter account looked as though it had been hijacked earlier today when the following tweet was posted:

Sky News tweet

Colin was here

The tweet was quickly deleted, but not before over 7500 people had retweeted it.

Sky then issued the following statement:

sky news hacked

@Skynewsbreak Twitter Account Hacked

Earlier today the @skynewsbreak twitter feed was hacked and a single message sent.

Action was swiftly taken and we are working with Twitter and our in house security to ensure this cannot happen again

But "hacked"? Really?

Well, no, actually. As Sky said in a follow up statement (and saw the funny side, it seems):

colin update

Colin update

Further investigation uncovered, to our relief, that Colin was in fact a ‘disaster recovery’ test message which accidentally went live. Apologies.

......no Colin was harmed in the making of this message.

Who sent 'Colin' live remains to be seen.

Let's take this as a reminder to us all to always choose a strong password and keep it secret.

And always keep our computers locked when nature calls.

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9 Responses to "Colin was here" - Sky News Twitter not hacked as a "disaster recovery" test message is accidentally posted

  1. Colin · 344 days ago

    I sent it. ; )

  2. Colin · 344 days ago

    Colin was here

  3. Any idea how the "Colin" post could be used as a disaster recovery test?

    • LonerVamp · 343 days ago

      Probably a checklist of some sort to go through during a disaster recovery scenario. Now, why 'Colin' would have the Twitter account password when he doesn't quite understand the outward-facing aspect of it, is another story we'll never hear. :)

  4. Toxic Proxy · 343 days ago

    @Tyw7,

    It is a DR initiation message. As I am sure most key employees follow that Twitter account for the company; when in true DR, they post that message. Or at least they make certain people follow it. Nobody but the employees knows what it actually means. It is easier than calling 1000 employees, especially when company communication is down. By using social media, they are reaching every employee with a single message. Plus, Twitter is hosted by a third party, thus making sure the message gets out. From there, the DR process can start and employees will start calling each other.

    • Sootie · 343 days ago

      What about employees that don't use social media or don't have their workplace added as a contact?

  5. Mick A · 343 days ago

    What utter nonsense. They were hacked. In most organisations a 'test' message will contain the words test, test, tests, testing, tested or test - not; Colin.

  6. jessi slaughter · 343 days ago

    who cares about colin, where's graham?!

    • Paul Ducklin · 343 days ago

      What makes you think they're two different people?

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About the author

Anna Brading has worked in tech for more than ten years and as a writer with Sophos for over five. She has a love of all things social media, reading and cats (but she's not weird, honest).