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.
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.
A 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.Follow @gcluley