The "Script Kiddies" have struck again, this time hacking the Twitter account of NBC News, and falsely reporting that an airliner had crashed into Ground Zero in New York. The hacker group infiltrated NBC's Twitter account Friday evening, with the first message showing up on Twitter at 5:48 P.M.:
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Shortly after NBC removed the hacked tweets, the company's chief digital officer (and former president and CEO of NPR) Vivian Schiller released the following statement on her Twitter account:
"The NBC News Twitter account was hacked late this afternoon and as a result, false reports of a plane attack on ground zero were sent to @NBCNews followers. We are working with Twitter to correct the situation and...cont... [sic] sincerely apologize for the scare that could have been caused by such a reckless and irresponsible act."
Schiller tweeted early Saturday morning that the NBC News Twitter account "is back in our control and reporting news. Tnx for your understanding."
The hackers identified themselves as "Script Kiddies," the same group that hacked into a Fox News account early on the morning of July 4, falsely reporting that President Obama had been assassinated. Now, the group, an offshoot of hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec, is under investigation by the FBI, NBC News reported on its Today news website on Saturday morning.
In a later post on the MSNBC site, the company reported that "FBI officials confirmed Friday night that agents from the bureau's computer crimes unit were investigating the incident — the latest in a string of malicious cyber attacks on government and private companies. So far, bureau officials said, they are still gathering information from NBC and declined to discuss any suspects."
How did the hackers gain access to the NBC News Twitter account? NBC admits that one of its employees clicked on a malicious email attachment that could have allowed the Script Kiddies to intercept NBC's Twitter password, which the company said is only in the hands of three executives. NBC reported its social media director Ryan Osborn had received a suspicious email two weeks ago, when Hurricane Irene was threatening the Eastern seaboard. The email read:
"Ryan, You need to get off TWITTER immediately and protect your family from the hurricane. That is an order." Osborn wrote back "I’m sorry. Who is this?" The sender then replied, "I’m the girl next door" with an attachment. Osborn said he mistakenly clicked on the attachment and it contained a Christmas tree.
During Friday's NBC Nightly News broadcast less than an hour after the Twitter account breach, Brian Williams read the following statement:
[via Today News]
This story originally published on Mashable here.
- Script Kiddies
- NBC News