Fake AP tweet causes $90bn Dow Jones loss
For three minutes the stock market plunged yesterday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping 150 points after the Associated Press Twitter feed was hacked. The hacked tweet announced that there had been two explosions in the White House and that Barack Obama was injured.
The tweet in question was announced as bogus almost immediately and stocks recovered in a similar time, but the scare was enough to shake up the markets just after 1.00pm Eastern time. Oil prices fell as gold prices spiked but these were reversed soon after AP announced their previous message was untrue.
White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed to reporters that president Obama was unharmed and AP stated the message to be false via Twitter before suspending its account.
The Dow Jones is a stock market index consisting of 30 major American companies, including Coca-Cola and American Express. The brief tumble caused it to lose around 1% of its value, equating to almost $90bn. Stocks, bonds and oil, however, were soon back to trading exactly as they had been before the crash.
A group calling itself the “Syrian Electronic Army” has claimed responsibility for the hack on its own Twitter account. The group has previously claimed credit for hacks on the Sky News Arabia and Al-Jazeera websites. Other big companies have seen their Twitter accounts hacked in recent months and calls for increased security on social networks have been made.