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Virtual Security Breach

Who can you trust? Associated Press gets hacked, reports White House bomb and injury to President Obama

News_Barack_Obama_The Oval Office
The fake AP tweet reported that President Barack Obama had been injured by a bomb at the White House.  Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Someone hacked the Associated Press Twitter account on April 23, sending out a 12:07 p.m. tweet proclaiming another act of terror. It quickly went viral on the site, prompting more than 4,500 retweets, 333 favorites and mass confusion.

Three minutes after the AP tweet went out, hacktivist group Anonymous presented its own version of the breaking news alert. 

By 12:15 p.m., the AP Twitter account was suspended. The Associated Press' Google+ page reported the incident, saying "The Associated Press Twitter account (@AP) has been hacked. Please do not respond to news posted there in the last 20 minutes." 

Wall Street Journal reporter Charles Forelle documented the hack's effect on the Dow Jones, which thankfully recovered after the AP discredited the tweet. 

Anonymous, a loosely organized but extremely effective hacktivist group, has claimed responsibility for a number of high-level hacks in the past. North Korea, Israel and MIT have all fallen prey to the savvy Internet users. No official word yet on who is responsible for the Associated Press hack, though Anonymous is pointing the finger at Syria. 

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