AP Twitter account hacked, makes false claim of explosions at White House (update)


Anyone that follows the Associated Press on Twitter just heard "news" of an unprecedented national crisis. "Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured," the AP's account tweeted moments ago. Thankfully onlookers were quick to call the tweet fake, no doubt aided by the fact that no other news agencies are reporting a dire situation at the White House. The formatting is also uncharacteristic of the style guide-enforcing AP, with a bizarre capitalization of "Explosions" and a reference to the president by his first name. The news wire has since confirmed its account has been hijacked, referring to the tweet in question as "bogus."

But effects of the major hack — not the first to impact a news agency on Twitter — are already being felt. The Dow plummeted nearly 100 points following the worrying tweet, though stocks have largely bounced back from the dive.


The Associated Press account has since been suspended, an obvious measure to prevent further false information from being distributed by a typically reliable news source. The AP says today's intrusion came after hackers "made repeated attempts to steal the passwords of AP journalists" — a mission it would seem they ultimately succeeded at. One employee, Mike Baker, reveals that the hack came in close proximity to a phishing email received by AP staffers.

As for who's behind the brief scare, the Syrian Electronic Army, which took credit for a hack against Reuters last year, has claimed responsibility. A tweet from the @AP_Mobile account (also currently suspended) reads "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here."

Update: An FBI spokesperson has confirmed to Bloomberg that the agency is looking into today's incident, no doubt owing to the severity of the falsified tweet.

Back to top ^
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.