" />
Business

At $136 billion, is this the most expensive tweet in history?

At $136 billion, is this the most expensive tweet in history?

At 1:07 p.m EST the Associated Press’s Twitter account published a tweet claiming that two bombs had exploded at the White House, injuring the President.

By 1:09, just two minutes later, over $136 billion had been wiped off the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P) stock market index in New York.

Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.

Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.

The tweet, thankfully, was not true – there had been no explosion in the US Capital – but this one fake tweet, coupled with the knee jerk reaction from traders in the city, made a serious dent in the U.S Stock Exchange (from which it has now recovered).

Making it, quite possibly, the most costly tweet in history.

Writing about its own hack the AP said,

“The attack on AP’s Twitter account and the AP Mobile Twitter account was preceded by phishing attempts on AP’s corporate network.

The AP confirmed that its Twitter account had been suspended following a hack and said it was working to correct the issue. The fake tweet went out shortly after 1 p.m. and briefly sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average sharply lower. The Dow fell about 143 points, from 14,697 to 14,554, after the fake Twitter posting, and then quickly recovered.”

The Associated Press and since suspended all its Twitter accounts.

The White House spokesman, Jay Carney, confirmed that Obama was not in any danger.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission refused to comment on the events.

The S&P 500 after the AP tweet

The S&P 500 after the AP tweet

According to the AP, the hackers gained access to the account through a phishing email sent to the news agency.  An organisation calling itself the “Syrian Electronic Army” has claimed responsibility, but this has not been confirmed.

However, if this group was responsible it would not be the first time that forces sympathetic to the regime in Syria have successfully hacked a news agency.  In August, Reuters’ website published a story claiming that Syrian rebels were retreating from the city of Aleppo. The story was not true, and resulted in the agency shutting down parts of its website.

A representative of the Associated Press, Paul Colford, said the company is working with Twitter to “investigate the issue”.

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business
@pdscott

Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).

More in Business

Tech and troubles in the cannabis industry

Tech and troubles in the cannabis industry

Ben AllenAugust 18, 2017
Instagram Tweaks “Free Speech”, but for Money or for Progress? - The Sociable

Instagram tweaks “free speech”, but for money or progress?

Ben AllenAugust 18, 2017
minimum wage robots

Why raising the minimum wage is likely to result in high employment for robots

Sam Brake GuiaAugust 18, 2017
england tech diversity

South West England wants to diversify tech by bringing it together

Nicolas WaddellAugust 17, 2017
GDPR: Who’s ready and how to get ready

GDPR: Who’s ready and how to get ready

Ben AllenAugust 16, 2017
cryptocurrency concerts

Slovenia startup looking to level musical playing field invents cryptocurrency for concerts

Nicolas WaddellAugust 14, 2017

What smart cities look like outside the US

Omar ElorfalyAugust 11, 2017
marketing, sales, ai

Marketing and sales need to collaborate more closely to survive AI onslaught

Zac LavalAugust 10, 2017
mobile friendly

Is your business website really mobile friendly?

Melissa ThompsonAugust 10, 2017