NBC News says the FBI is investigating a Friday incident in which hackers took over the NBC News Twitter account and issued false reports of a new terrorist attack on Ground Zero. A group which had previously hacked the Fox News Twitter account is suspected.
“NBC News hacked by The Script Kiddies” the hackers triumphantly tweeted, but only after posting three tweets about the phony terrorist attack.
The first false tweet claimed “Breaking news!” that Ground Zero had been attacked in a plane crash. The second a few minutes later that a second flight was missing. And the third said “This is not a joke. Ground Zero has just been attacked. We’re attempting to get reporters on the scene.”
Meanwhile, Vivian Schiller (yes, that Vivian Schiller, the former CEO of NPR), who is now Chief Digital Officer for NBC News, was trying to get the word out from her personal Twitter account. “Ignore tweets from @nbcnews till further notice. We’ve been hacked. Do not retweet,” she said.
According to NBC News only three executives knew the password for the Twitter account. But one US government security expert told NBC News “The truth is it’s relatively easy to get into these accounts.”
NBC News anchor Brian Williams reported the hacking on Friday’s “NBC Nightly News” and apologized for “the scare that could have been caused by such a reckless and irresponsible act.”
RBR-TVBR observation: How long before major news organizations have to hire in-house cyber security experts?