April 23, 2013

False Associated Press Twitter Message Sparks Stock-Market Selloff -

AP said message on Twitter that explosions in the White House had injured President Barack Obama was false. The message briefly sparked selloff on U.S. stock markets.

False AP Twitter Message Sparks Stock-Market Selloff

The Associated Press said Tuesday its Twitter account was compromised, resulting in a false message on the service that explosions in the White House had injured President Barack Obama. The message briefly sparked selloff on U.S. stock markets.
"The Twitter account has been hacked," the AP said in a statement Tuesday. "The tweet about an attack on the White House is false."
Other Twitter accounts associated with Associated Press were quick to deny the false Twitter message, which was posted just after 1 p.m. Eastern time. Shortly afterward, the news organization's main Twitter account was suspended, according to other AP Twitter accounts.
A spokesman for Twitter Inc. said the company doesn't comment on individual accounts.
In recent days, at least two major U.S. news organizations have said unauthorized people have accessed their Twitter accounts and posted false information. CBS Inc.'s CBS News over the weekend said some of its Twitter accounts were posting malicious Internet links. NPR said last week several of its Twitter accounts were hacked by an organization that supports Syria's government.
The stock-market selloff Tuesday shows how quickly social media such as Twitter can spread false information. U.S. stocks and the dollar briefly slide Tuesday afternoon and U.S. Treasury bonds and gold prices soared following the tweet. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 145 points between 1:08 p.m. and 1:10 p.m. ET.
Critics pointed to incorrect information about last week's Boston Marathon bombings, often generated by traditional media that was circulated widely via Twitter and Facebook .
"See how temperamental the market is?" said Keith Bliss, senior vice president at brokerage firm Cuttone & Co. "Just goes to show, you shouldn't have a knee-jerk reaction to anything that comes across Twitter."
The dollar plummeted against the Japanese yen after the AP's tweet, dropping as low as 98.58 yen from 99.27 yen before the tweet. It quickly recovered all losses within four minutes, recently trading at 99.22 yen. Other markets also saw sharp moves. Among precious metals, gold futures saw a brief bump of more than $5 a troy ounce but quickly fell back to its previous level, around $1,409; silver futures moved less than $1 per troy ounce and also reverted to their prior level when it became clear the report was a hoax.
Critics of Twitter say the service is vulnerable to unauthorized messages because the company hasn't widely implemented "two-factor authentication," an extra layer of protection to ensure a person who enters a password to a digital service is the authorized user.
For example, Google Inc.'s Gmail service offers an option for users to access their email accounts using both a password, and a numerical code separately sent to the authorized user's mobile phone.
—Jonathan Cheng, Mike Cherney and Jerry DiColo contributed to this article. Write to Shira Ovide at
Copyright 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

False Associated Press Twitter Message Sparks Stock-Market Selloff -

Subscribe to The MasterTech's Feeds

Add This