SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Brief panic spread around the world Tuesday after hackers used the Associated Press Twitter account to send false information about bombings at the White House. It was a hacker's hoax.
The stock market tanked, and then recovered quickly after hackers sent out a fake tweet about President Obama being hurt after an attack in Washington D.C.
Nearly 2 million followers of the Associated Press Twitter account saw this breaking news tweet on Tuesday, " Explosions at the White House." It was a false tweet sent out by hackers.
"People believe that and panic," said Joanne Facchini of Chicopee. "At first I read it, and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, I can't believe this is going on.' Then as you read down, they clearly explained they were hacked, and they had to take it down. Nobody's safe."
AP's hacked tweet got posted just after 1 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, and if you look at the stock market activity, you can see the sudden dip that happened just after 1 o'clock as well. So this shows you how quickly the stock market reacted to this hacking activity.
According to Sr. VP at St. Germain Investments, Tim Suffish, "I say this is just something we have to deal with as investors. We haven't seen volatility like that in a while, but I'd say when there is quote on quote news, and this was a hoax, it was not anything real, but you'd expect to see the market react that way."
Stocks bounced back fast, and it won't have any long-term consequences, but many people said this incident shows that no one is safe on the Internet.
"You keep hearing about people hacking into the computers at the Pentagon, into credit card accounts and into telephone accounts, so I think it just has to become a new focus of security," said Lee Osbourne of Middletown, CT.
The AP Twitter account is suspended until they investigate.