The Washington Times - July 4, 2011, 07:07AM

 

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Fox News Channel’s politics account was reportedly hacked early Monday morning when hoax tweets claiming President Barack Obama had been assassinated were sent out to the account’s 33,000 followers. According to the UK Guardian

Fox News has apparently fallen victim to hacking, with its politics Twitter feed repeatedly announcing President Barack Obama had been shot dead.

@foxnewspolitics began tweeting the information to its 33,000 followers at about 2am local time, with the posts rapidly being shared around the internet.

The rogue tweets appeared to begin after the account sent a message saying Fox had just “regained full access to our Twitter account”.

The following tweets all related to the supposed death of Obama, with some posts being very specific about the president’s injuries.

“@BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead. A sad 4th of July, indeed. President Barack Obama is dead,” came the first tweet. The string of messages continued:

“@BarackObama has just passed. Nearly 45 minutes ago, he was shot twice in the lower pelvic area and in the neck; shooter unknown. Bled out”, and then: “@BarackObama shot twice at a Ross’ restaurant in Iowa while campaigning. RIP Obama, best regards to the Obama family.”

Fox News has posted a statement:

FoxNews.com’s Twitter feed for political news, FoxNewspolitics, was hacked early Monday morning.

Hackers sent out several malicious and false tweets claiming that President Obama had been assassinated. Those reports were incorrect, of course, and the president was spending the July 4 holiday with his family at the White House.

The tweets have been removed from the feed.

FoxNews.com alerted the U.S. Secret Service, which will investigate the hacking and do “appropriate follow up,” spokesman George Ogilvie said. 

Jeff Misenti, vice president and general manager of Fox News Digital, said FoxNews.com was working with Twitter to address the situation as quickly as possible.

“We will be requesting a detailed investigation from Twitter about how this occurred, and measures to prevent future unauthorized access into FoxNews.com accounts,” Misenti said.

FoxNews.com regrets any distress the false tweets may have created.

As of now, the hoaxer’s identity is not explicitly known. However, according to a report, “a hacker group calling themselves Scriptkiddies” was apparently involved in taking over the Fox News Twitter feed.

The incident is sure to open up a number of issues regarding the cyber-security of news organizations’ Twitter feeds.