Hackers compromised Twitter accounts of The Associated Press on Tuesday, sending out a false tweet about an attack at the White House.
The false tweet said there had been two explosions at the White House and that President Barack Obama was injured. The attack on AP’s Twitter account and the AP Mobile Twitter account was preceded by phishing attempts on AP’s corporate network.
The “Syrian Electronic Army” claimed responsibility for the hack.
The pro-Assad group hacked into the homepages of Reuters and al-Jazeera last year. In March, it took over the website and Twitter account of Human Rights Watch.
The Associated Press confirmed that its Twitter account had been suspended following a hack and said it was working to correct the issue. The fake tweet went out shortly after 1 p.m., US time. The news briefly sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting by 130 points.
AP spokesman Paul Colford said the news cooperative was working with Twitter to investigate the issue. AP disabled its other Twitter accounts following the attack, Colford added. At no time was the AP news wire compromised.
Asked about the incident at a press briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president is fine.
“I was just with him,” Carney said.