Obama is dead – Fox News Twitter account declares
Fox News’s Twitter account has been hacked by activists, who have used it to declare President Barack Obama dead.
In a morbid hoax, hackers managed to break into the conservative broadcaster’s Twitter feed before attempting to spread news that Obama had been killed by two gunshots at a restaurant in Iowa.
While fellow users of the social networking site quickly cottoned on to the trick, the hackers persisted, offering condolences to Obama’s family before wishing Joe Biden luck in taking over at the White House.
Morbid: One of the tweets sent by hackers from Fox News’s Twitter account
Alive! President Obama poses for pictures yesterday with kids in Washington – he definitely was not shot at a restaurant in Iowa
More than five hours after the initial messages were posted by @foxnewspolitics suggesting the President had been assassinated, they still had not been removed by the leading cable news provider.
A group known as The Script Kiddies appeared to claim responsibility for the attack.
Late on Sunday night, unusual activity suggested the page had been taken over, with the Fox logo removed and a new description running below, which read: ‘H4CK3D BY TH3 5CR1PT K1DD3S.’
A ‘Script Kiddie’ is slang expression used online for an inexperienced person who uses hacking technology developed by others.
At just after 2am EST, a message on the feed suggested normal practise had resumed, stating: ‘Just regained full access to our Twitter and email. Happy 4th.’
Moments later, however, the site declared Obama dead with the message: ‘@BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead. A sad 4th of July, indeed. President Barack Obama is dead’.
Hacked: The Script Kiddies appeared to claim responsibility for the attack
Tweets: The full run of messages on the hacked Fox News account
Further explanation alleged that the President ‘was shot twice in the lower pelvic area and in the neck; shooter unknown. Bled out’ and that he had been killed ‘at a Ross’ restaurant in Iowa while campaigning’.
Later the hackers posted the message: ‘We wish @joebiden the best of luck as our new President of the United States. In such a time of madness, there’s light at the end of tunnel.’
It is not entirely clear why the account was chosen as a target by hackers but the channel’s right-wing reporting has made it unpopular with many more liberal Americans.
Fox News is, however, by far the most popular cable news network in the U.S., attracting audiences far bigger than those who regularly watch CNN or MSNBC.
Its Twitter account has a tick icon, meaning it is verified as the legitimate feed from the broadcaster.
Other Twitter users did not appear impressed by the hoax.
Isaac Moffett quickly responded: ‘@foxnewspolitics @BarackObama Now doubt they have been hacked….’
Melissa Anne Baluka added: ‘Hey whoever hacked @foxnewspolitics : not the best way to play a ‘joke’. Rather sick.’