Fox News shocked many Americans by announcing on Twitter that Barack Obama had been “shot twice in the lower pelvic area and in the neck”.
However, this horrific assassination was due to Fox News’ Twitter account being hacked…and I presume a lonely and horrifically spotty hackers’ warped sense of humour! The President is NOT dead for any of you still fearing for his health and well-being. Who was responsible? Well, the Twitter account @TheScriptKiddie claimed ownership of the hack, by tweeting “Fox news politics hacked by the scriptkiddies! http://t.co/6yZDcTS more embarrassment for FoxNews is imitate.” Their account was then suspended by Twitter.
But it appears that you can’t keep a good group of hackers down, as a second Twitter was then set-up at @ScriptKiddi3s, with them tweeting “Our old twitter was suspended @TheScriptKiddie here is the new, hopefully permanent, address. @FoxNewsPolitics just hacked.”
These tweets starting appearing in the early hours of July 4th – the day that America celebrates the Declaration of Independence from back in 1776 by getting sloshed and watching fireworks and eating fatty foods – which seems like a perfect day for a PR stunt from the hackers about the death of a president. Tweets included “@BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead. A sad 4th of July, indeed. President Barack Obama is dead” and “We wish @joebiden the best of luck as our new President of the United States. In such a time of madness, there’s light at the end of tunnel.”
Twitter seemed to avoid being fooled (well done everyone!), but following the hot-off-the-press news that hacking group AntiSec are claiming to contains usernames and passwords for an Apple Inc. Server and Sony’s recent high-profiles troubles with a 19 year old geek in Essex, how safe is our personal information online? Hacking has become a major issue and has highlighted how online security has been ignored (or at best neglected slightly) by big corporations.
Of course, this is out of the hands of your average Joe Public – it is up to “them” to ensure that our details are kept safe. However, we can ensure that we use the internet safely by not clicking on links in emails or on social networking sites etc if you are not 100% certain that the link goes to the correct location. A wrong click can lead to a site that gives your device malware and means that hackers can monitor your online antics and even steal passwords.
We can only hope that governments dealing with our national security (and the like) have been scared into action.
Andrew is a copywriter for computer forensics experts Intaforenics.