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Hackers very briefly gained control of the official NBC News Twitter feed over the weekend. Their aim: To send false messages preceding the 9/11 anniversary.
The hacking group Script Kiddies released these messages during Friday evening on Twitter:
NBC quickly moved in to quell any concerns and instantly condemned the attack. The tweets were sent in quick succession before any action could be taken. On Saturday morning, the account was back in the control of NBC news and Vivian Schiller, NBC’s chief digital officer released a statement on her Twitter account, mentioning that an investigation was now under way.
Schiller also released this statement on Twitter:
“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 sincerely apologise for the scare that could have been caused by such a reckless and irresponsible act.”
Script Kiddies are a splinter cell of Anonymous, the hacking activists who have targeted Mastercard, VISA and other prominent websites in recent times. The group also claimed to have hacked the Fox news politics Twitter account earlier this year, stating that President Obama had been assassinated.
NBC was saved somewhat by the fact that fans of its Twitter account were quick to denounce the messages as a scam. NBC news followers spread the word that a hack had taken place and in the same process set out to humiliate the group who broke into the Twitter account.
Social media director for NBC news, Ryan Osborn quickly suspended the account while Twitter hastily banned the Script Kiddies feed.
The hack came at a very delicate time in the US. Parts of the country have been placed under high alert following a series of unconfirmed reports of terrorist plots against New York City and Washington DC were uncovered.