Washington, D.C. (WKBW) - Hackers sent out a false report that the White House had been bombed and the President was hurt. It's part of a growing and disturbing trend that shows no sign of slowing down.
Someone hacked the Twitter account of the Associated Press, indicating Washington was under attack. It was re-tweeted by hundreds of people and caused commotion on Wall Street. Stocks eventually rebounded but cyber experts said it is a clear example of how powerful these attacks can be. They hit where it counts, the pocketbook.
One publication that has experienced this first hand is "The Batavian". It is a website that features up to the minute news out of Genesee County and is also a cyber attack victim.
In this case, it caused the operator to take down ads on the website. The operator explained the situation to readers and is now racing to fix the problem. These publications are targeted for unknown reasons.
"Thousands of people re-tweeted it without checking if it was true. Again, AP got on the hack really quickly and notified people but in some ways the damage was already done," Social Media Professor at Newhouse School Dr. William Ward said.
AP officials said their corporate office had been targeted. This false alarm puts pressure on Twitter to add a two-step verification process. This security measure would alert someone if a post were sent from an unrecognized phone or computer.