The Twitter account of the Associated Press was the latest victim of an attack by hackers with a Tweet being posted on the feed of the AP claiming that President Obama had been injured in a bomb attack.
The Tweet was posted on the AP Twitter feed on Tuesday just after 1pm ET and stated: “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured!.
The tweet may have been a hoax but it had massive ramifications across the US with Wall Street falling into chaos and panic and sending the Dow Jones into crisis with §200 billion being wiped off the market after the Tweet.
Shortly after the Tweet was published the AP quickly let people know that they had fallen victim to hackers but damage had already been done showing the power of Twitter and the consequences a single tweet can have around the world.
To assure people that the tweet was a hoax the White House dispatched spokesman Jay Carney who said: “The president is fine. I was just with him”.
When the hoax had been confirmed the markets in Wall Street recovered and finally actually closed 152 points up.
It is believed that the effects of this one hoax tweet had such strong implications mainly because it came so quickly after the Boston Marathon bombing which has left the US in a heightened state of alert and very aware of the possibility of a terrorist attack on US soil.
The AP have said that the hoax tweet came after they noticed that their account had come under attack several times before the hackers finally broke through security and posted the tweet.
The Syrian Electronic Army has claimed responsibility for the attack Recently the same group have been responsible for hacking the BBC weather twitter account and also CBS 60 Minutes and the 48 Hours news shows accounts.
Experts in social media are stating that the reaction to the fake tweet now shows the power of social media across the world with the effect that the tweet had on wall Street showing that hackers could potentially cause huge problems in the world if they are able to successfully post fake Tweets that can rock entire financial institutions.
Traders in financial markets around the world have long used twitter as a way to read trends in the market and as a source of real time information so they would be very likely to respond to any fake Tweets.
The FBI are said to now be investigating the case into the hacked AP Twitter account.