Hackers Seize NBC News Twitter Account, Falsely Report Attack on Ground Zero
Hackers took control of the NBC News Twitter account Friday afternoon and posted false reports of hijacked planes hitting Ground Zero .
"Ground Zero has just been attacked," the first post said. "Flight 5736 has crashed into the site, suspected hijacking. More as the story develops."
A fourth tweet said "NBCNEWS hacked by The Script Kiddies."
"The NBC News Twitter account was hijacked late this afternoon and as a result, false reports of a plane attack on ground zero were sent to @NBCNews followers," NBC said in a statement Friday evening. "We are working with Twitter to correct the situation and sincerely apologize for the scare that could have been caused by such a reckless and irresponsible act."
It's not the first time hackers have harnessed a news organization to spread disinformation or mischief. PBS was hacked this spring, leading to a false post that Tupac Shakur was alive. The Fox News Twitter account was hacked on July 4 -- apparently also by the Script Kiddies -- to falsely report that the president had been assassinated. Later that month the hacking collective Lulz Security took over the website of News Corp. tabloid the Sun to falsely report that Rupert Murdoch, chairman-CEO of News Corp., had been found dead in his garden.
But NBC's apparent posts today reporting an attack on Ground Zero were perhaps the most alarming incident yet amid government warnings of a credible threat as the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaches.
Questions about the security of Twitter accounts may now become an issue not just for Twitter technicians but Edelman, Twitter's new PR agency.