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Twitter bomb threat diverts plane carrying Sony Online Entertainment president

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John Smedley on board plane targeted by group of supposed hackers

An American Airlines flight was diverted earlier today after a group of supposed hackers used Twitter to call in a bomb threat. The group, which had previously claimed responsibility for recent PlayStation Network downtime, appeared to target the flight because Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley was on board. Smedley tweeted to confirm the flight, which took off from Dallas bound for San Diego before landing in Phoenix, was diverted due to the threat.

The group had tweeted at the flight's operator, saying it had been receiving reports that Flight 362 from Dallas to San Diego had explosives on board. It followed the tweet up with messages sent directly to Smedley showing the two planes crashing into the World Trade Center, and the hashtag #PrayForFlight362. Earlier tweets linked to what appeared to be an image of an e-ticket for the flight, and suggested a desired affiliation with both ISIS and Anonymous.

The group of supposed hackers hasn't made its motivations clear. It claimed responsibility for a denial-of-service attack on Sony's PlayStation Network earlier today, but Smedley's Sony Online Entertainment has very little to do with the console network, instead being responsible for developing the company's massively multiplayer RPGs such as DC Universe Online and PlanetSide 2.

A Sony representative confirmed that its PlayStation Network had been the target of an attack which took the service down for a spell on Sunday night, but said that none of its users' personal data had been compromised. A company spokesperson also said that the FBI was investigating the diversion of the American Airlines flight. The Bureau has yet to comment on the incident.

Update August 25th, 3:30AM: Story updated with comment from Sony spokesperson and confirmation the FBI is investigating the threat.


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