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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

AP Twitter account hacked, White House says Obama is 'fine'

Hackers compromised the Associated Press Twitter account on Tuesday. The account was almost immediately suspended, but not before more than 4,500 accounts re-tweeted a fake alert about an attack on the White House.

The tweet sent at 1:07 p.m. (EST) read:

"Breaking: Two explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured"

The erroneous tweet came after hackers made repeated attempts to steal the passwords of AP journalists.

AP sent out a message over their wire service minutes after the account was suspended, saying that the Twitter account had been hacked and that the White House tweet was false. The news service said it would advise about the status of the account as soon as possible.

White House Press Secretary responded to the false Twitter report at the beginning of Tuesday's midday press briefing, saying that he was just with Mr. Obama, and that the president was fine.

The cyberattack is the latest in a string targeting international media organizations.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 150 points after the fake Twitter posting, then quickly recovered.

Neither the White House's nor Barack Obama's Twitter accounts posted about the false tweet within the following hour. But hundreds of thousands of other accounts did comment on the situation and share the correct information.

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