The Secret Service will be investigating the attack on one of the Twitter accounts belonging to Fox News after messages regarding President Obama's assassination were posted.
Cyber-attackers hijacked a Fox News Twitter account and
posted bogus messages claiming President Obama had been assassinated on
A group calling itself the "Script Kiddies" took over the
Twitter account owned by Fox News Politics and posted multiple fake messages
for at least six hours on July 4. The attack appears to have begun around 2 in
the morning and lasted through the day until the Fox News team regained control
of the account and removed the Tweets, according to Fox
"BREAKING NEWS: President @BarackObama assassinated, 2 gunshot
wounds have proved too much. It's a sad 4th for #america. #obamadead RIP,"
read one of the messages.
Another message wished Vice President Joseph Biden the "best
of luck" as the new president.
Fox News will be working with Twitter about how the attack
occurred and how to prevent future "unauthorized access," Jeff Misenti, vice president
and general manager of Fox News Digital, said in the Fox News story.
Since the messages mentioned a presidential assassination,
the Secret Service is also investigating the incident. "We will conduct
the appropriate follow up," Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie told
the Associated Press.
Script Kiddies targeted Fox News because "their security
would be just as much of a joke as their reporting," according to a story in Stony
Brook University's Think Magazine
. The student-run publication claimed to
have interviewed a member of the group, who said several of its members had
ties to the hacker's collective Anonymous. The group defaced the Twitter page
by changing the Fox News Politics logo to read "H4CK3D BY TH3 5CR1PT K1DD3S."
This isn't the first time that Fox News was attacked. The
LulzSec group launched its 50-day spree by gaining access to a Fox News server
containing hundreds of usernames and passwords for Fox News employees and
publicly released the information. LulzSec also hijacked Fox affiliates'
Twitter feeds and posted bogus messages. The group also released personal
information belonging to 73,000 people who applied to appear on the network's
X-Factor reality show.
The Fox News staff posted "Just regained full access to our
Twitter and email" just before the Obama posts appeared. It's not clear whether
the Script Kiddies group posted the assassination messages after Fox News
claimed to have regained control, or if another group was involved.
Regardless, the message implies that whoever hijacked the
Twitter account also compromised the email address of the person administering
the FoxNewsPolitics account, Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at
Sophos, wrote on the NakedSecurity
blog. Fox employees who maintain the company's social media accounts should
"refresh their knowledge of password security," Cluley wrote, and to check
their computers don't have spyware or other malicious software.
Even LulzSec regularly reminded its followers the dangers of
reusing passwords across multiple services and accounts. "Don't use the
same password twice. Your laziness will not end well," the group warned on
its Twitter feed.
Even though LulzSec has disbanded, many of its members
remain active under the Anonymous banner. Anonymous went after Apple over the
weekend, exposing a few usernames and passwords which were encrypted.