Fake AP tweet sends stocks briefly plunging

The White House is pictured on April 23, 2013. CBS/Peter Maer

(MoneyWatch) Stocks tumbled briefly Tuesday after hackers hijacked the main Twitter feed of The Associated Press and sent out a false tweet about a terror attack at the White House.

Dow Jones industrial average on April 23, 2013
Google Finance

The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 130 points, or roughly 1 percent, after the fake Twitter posting before quickly rebounding. As of 1:50 p.m, it was up 130 points, or 0.9 percent, to 14,698. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also fell sharply, but recovered after AP confirmed that the tweets were false.

The tweet, which came shortly after 1 p.m. Eastern Time, claimed there had been two explosions at the White House and that President Barack Obama had been injured. The AP's mobile application also was compromised.

"The @AP twitter account has been hacked," the wire service said in a statement. "The tweet about an attack at the White House is false. We will advise more as soon as possible."

The AP said that unidentified hackers have "made repeated attempts to steal the passwords of AP journalists." The media company suspended its Twitter account and said it was trying to correct the issue.

Other media organizations have seen their Twitter accounts hacked in recent months.  Over the weekend, CBS News confirmed that its "60 Minutes" and "48 Hours" Twitter accounts were compromised. Both accounts remain suspended at present time.

  • Alain Sherter On Twitter»

    Alain Sherter covers business and economic affairs for CBSNews.com.

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