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Hackers post 9/11 hoax tweets at @NBCNews Twitter feed

September 10, 2011 |  6:06 am


The ScriptKiddies have struck again, hacking Friday afternoon into the official Twitter feed of NBC News. They posted a series of tweets about a fictional airplane attack on ground zero in New York City.

In a statement, NBC said, "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 apologize for the scare that could have been caused by such a reckless and irresponsible act."

Here's what was posted:


Twitter has now suspended the hackers' account, @s_kiddies.

Vivian Schiller, the chief digital officer for @NBCNews and @MSNBC used her....

...own account, @VivianSchiller, to tweet warnings about the hack, starting with:
Vivian Schiller
VivianSchiller Vivian Schiller
Ignore tweets from @nbcnewstill further notice. We've been hacked. Do not retweet.

Incidentally, Schiller is the former chief executive of NPR. She resigned in March, in the wake of controversies, including the firing of news analyst Juan Williams over statements he made as a contributor on Fox News. Schiller joined NBC News in June.

Schiller also retweeted a comment by Brian Stelter, who covers TV and digital media for the New York Times:

Brian Stelter
brianstelterBrian Stelter
by VivianSchiller
When a Fox account was hacked in July, it was kept online (overnight) for hours. When @nbcnews was hit today, it was suspended in minutes.

Regarding the Fox News incident, hackers also going by the name ScriptKiddies took over its @foxnewspolitics Twitter account in the early hours of July 4. Likely owing to the timing of the attack -- which began at 2 a.m. Eastern -- on a national holiday, it was several hours before Twitter could return control of the account to its owner.

As Stelter mentioned, Twitter was able to rectify the situation at @NBCNews much more quickly, although he seems to imply that the length of the first hack was somehow FNC's fault.

However long @NBCNews was compromised, the fix didn't come quite quickly enough for one social-media expert ...

Peter Shankman
petershankmanPeter Shankman
All: @NBCNEWSwas just hacked. DO NOT RETWEET THEIR TWEETS. They are FALSE. Hey @nbcnews: Get on it and fix, ok?


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-- Kate O'Hare

Media critic Kate O’Hare is a regular Ticket contributor. She also blogs about TV at Hot Cuppa TV and is a frequent contributor at entertainment news site Zap2it. Also follow O'Hare on Twitter @KateOH.

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Photos: Screenshots of @NBCNews Twitter feed profile page and hacked @NBCNews Twitter feed. Credits:@NBCNews, Twitter