Fox News Twitter Feed Hacked, Claims Obama Dead

Someone got control of one of Fox News Channel’s Twitter feeds over night, and used it to send messages claiming the President had been shot:

Hackers have taken over a Twitter account belonging to US broadcaster Fox News and declared President Obama dead.

The @foxnewspolitics feed stated: “BREAKING NEWS: @BarackObama assassinated, 2 gunshot wounds have proved too much.”

More than two hours after the malicious postings appeared, they had still not been removed.

A group or individual, calling themselves The Script Kiddies appeared to claim responsibility.

Fox News said it was investigating the posts.

The bizarre messages began appearing around 07.00 BST on July 4.

The first read: “Just regained full access to our Twitter and email. Happy 4th.”

The next posting stated: “@BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead.”

A group of hackers who call themselves Scriptkiddies is claiming responsibility:

Fox has found it has been made the target of a hacking campaign once again after attackers managed to compromise the Fox News Politics Twitter account and used it to spread misinformation that the president had been shot and killed.

Hacking group the “Scriptkiddies” claimed the hack, immediately tweeting the following message:

Fox news politics hacked by the scriptkiddies! http://t.co/6yZDcTS more embarrassment for FoxNews is imitate.

Whilst the group doesn’t affiliate itself with the loose online collective Anonymous, or the now disbanded LulzSec, Scriptkiddies reached out to the former to extend its support, offering help with the now infamous “AntiSec” campaign.

Oddly, as of the mornings, all of the offending messages are still part of the news feed: (click to enlarge)

Of course, if it’s this easy to take over control of an account, one would think Twitter would be doing something about security.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Shiva says:

    Theres a good chance the scriptkiddie is Roger Ailes

  2. michael reynolds says:

    The hacking I’ll leave others to discuss. But the writing! Good grief, none of them could convincingly spoof a Tweet. Kiddies indeed.

  3. Jay Tea says:

    I believe Media Matters posted a video (faked) of them hacking Fox News’ Times Square ticker. So they should be the first suspects.

    Whoops, my bad… wrong Soros buttmonkey. It was MoveOn.org, along with Van Jones.

    At least we didn’t see pictures of Bill O’Reilly’s junk.

    J.

  4. Robert in SF says:

    I’ll be interested in seeing the retweets and replies to these fake tweets, to see what the reactions were…unfiltered and perhaps honest reflections on the feelings that those Fox News followers had to the supposed news…

  5. matt says:

    Probably was using a terrible password…

  6. Jay Tea says:

    Note to self: either the phrase “Soros’ buttmonkeys” or “Bill O’Reilly’s junk” is considered offensive enough to trigger enough of the censor-happy goons’ censorship instincts. Or possibly both.

    Although, truth to tell, “Bill O’Reilly’s junk” is something that ought to be censored…

    J.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    Most likely just some random hackers, but… Fox News is notorious for their “accidental” screen crawls (Republican in trouble? Screen crawls shows he’s a Democrat). They just don’t have a lot of credibility. As for me, I assume they were hacked, but the decision to leave the tweets up? What is that about?

  8. Jay Tea says:

    Well, Marked, Fox has done one thing that Anthony Weiner never dared to do: they’ve notified the FBI about the hacking. Do you think for an instant they’d call in Obama’s and Holder’s FBI if they had anything at all to do with the tweets?

    J.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    Jay, good point. And, as I said, I think they probably were hacked. So why did they leave the feeds up?

  10. Jay Tea says:

    Marked, again, pure speculation. But:

    1) Preserve evidence for the FBI.

    2) Password changed by hackers, unable to contact Twitter over holiday weekend.

    There’s two possibilities right there…

    J.

  11. MarkedMan says:

    And that, Jay, is where we will forever diverge. Given what I see as the very real shenanigans Fox has engaged in, I think it is most likely a cynical ploy to get people to sign up for their twitter feed. Given that some, and that may include you, see Fox as a noble and heroic enterprise trying to bring fairness and balance to an overwhelmingly liberal media, it is likely they will assume any such incident (keeping the posts up, not the original hack) has a reasonable explanation.

    Given such differing viewpoints, no further rational discussion is possible.

  12. Jay Tea says:

    @MarkedMan: OK, now I officially have a referent for “flounce.” I offered two plausible speculations, labeled clearly as such, but you are wrapped up in presuming them guilty unless proven beyond a shadow of a doubt innocent (and maybe not even then) that, simply because someone offers a plausible suggestion, you will end the discussion.

    Note that I didn’t say that they were hacked, merely that their actions were entirely consistent with the hacking theory and offered considerable danger of exposure if it was faked. But apparently you can’t handle even the possibility that they aren’t to blame here.

    We do agree on one point: “no further rational discussion is possible.” Because you’ve put yourself beyond rationality here.

    J.

  13. MarkedMan says:

    Jay, my comments weren’t meant as an attack on you. I meant what I said: we have such different viewpoints of Fox News that there is no point in discussing it. As for your points, yes, I think it is possible they could be valid. But discussion between us isn’t going to prove or disprove them or any other alternative explanation, so it boils down to whether we assume good intentions or bad. In my case, I assume bad intentions and absent evidence to the contrary, I will at least suspect shenanigans. You have a different viewpoint about Fox, so I presume you assume good intentions, i.e. give them the benefit of the doubt unless shown good evidence otherwise.

    I suppose I could dredge up the things they’ve done in the past that I consider so atrocious, and you could attempt to refute or explain them, but do you really think that would lead to either of us changing our mind?

  14. Jay Tea says:

    @MarkedMan: Got it, Marked: to you, they’re guilty until proven innocent — and you’re really not that interested in the matter anyway, as it might damage your carefully-crafted prejudices. As long as you’re not on a jury or a judge, that’s your prerogative.

    And I wasn’t trying to change your opinion of Fox News per se, just challenging your assumption that they faked the whole incident. I see that was a bit of a waste of time.

    J.

  15. MarkedMan says:

    For the record, I said in my initial post and repeated it in another that I DON’T think they faked the whole thing, and tend to believe them when they say they were hacked. I was questioning their decision to leave the hacked posts online.

  16. Jay Tea says:

    @MarkedMan: Then, matt, the question becomes: what do they gain from doing so? Under what circumstances does leaving it up advance their agenda or make them look good?

    I cited two possible reasons why the tweets were up as long as they were, and both seem plausible to me. What do you see as reasons why they’d leave them up?

    J.

  17. MarkedMan says:

    Jay asked:

    What do you see as reasons why they’d leave them up?

    As I said above, in this case it could be to attract attention to their twitter feed. In a company the size of FoxNews I assume there is someone whose job it is to generate followers for their twitter stream, so that person is highly motivated to generate buzz. If these tweets are generating buzz why not leave them up?

    One benign possibility in addition to the two you mentioned: the person in charge at Fox doesn’t know that it is possible to remove them.