Just as Friday was calming down, NBC News sent out a very alarming tweet to their nearly 130,000 followers: "Breaking News! Ground Zero has just been attacked. Flight 5736 has crashed into the site, suspected hijacking. more as the story develops." Journalists almost immediately wrote it off as a clear hack and three minutes later, the hackers confirmed: "NBCNEWS hacked by The Script Kiddies. Follow them at @s_kiddies!" Both the NBC News account and the Script Kiddies account were suspended within minutes, the tweets deleted.
NBC released an apologetic statement a few minutes after the hack. "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," the statement said. "We are working with Twitter to correct the situation and sincerely apologize for the scare that could have been caused by such a reckless and irresponsible act."
First of all, that's not funny, Script Kiddies. (Who sound a lot like LulzSec according to their Twitter bio--"Anonymous Supporters :: Hackers :: Exploiting simplistic methods with hilarious results :: Occasionally doing it for teh lulz :: We are The Script Kiddies") Second, how does this keep happening? The message was retweeted over a hundred times within minutes, sending a shudder through the community of NBC News readers. With the 10-year-anniversary of September 11 on Sunday, and the government issuing "unconfirmed" reports of a "credible" terrorist attack, a fake tweet like this create real fear. We've reached out the NBC News for more details on how this happened and how Twitter responded. But in the meantime, we have to admit: Twitter might have a terrorism problem.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.