July 4, 2011


Red-faced Fox News editors were scrambling early Monday to figure out how hackers broke into one of their Twitter accounts and posted several messages that President Obama had been assassinated.
The hackers broke into the broadcaster's Fox News Politics account at around 2 a.m. and posted several messages that President Obama had been shot and killed while campaigning in Iowa.
"@BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead. A sad 4th of July, indeed. President Barack Obama is dead," the first post said.
Moments later, the hackers wrote that Obama had been "shot twice in the lower pelvic area and in the neck; shooter unknown. Bled out."
After three more rapid-fire tweets, including one that said Obama had been killed at "Ross' Restaurant in Iowa," the hackers signed off by wishing Vice President Joe Biden luck as the country's new president.
"In such a time of madness, there's light at the end of tunnel," the hoaxsters wrote.
The seven phony tweets were still visible on the account, which carries Twitter's baby blue "verified account" badge, for most of Monday morning. They were deleted at around noon.
Fox's politics account has nearly 35,000 followers.
A group of hackers called The Script Kiddies appeared to claim responsibility for the Independence Day hoax, BBC News reported.
At one point, the account's picture was replaced with the group's logo, and a description said, ""H4CK3D BY TH3 5CR1PT K1DD3S."
In an interview with Stony Brook Magazine's Think magazine, a person claiming to be a part of the organization said the group had close ties to the infamous hacking clan Anonymous.
The Script Kiddies allegedly broke into the account sometime around midnight Sunday and posted a few tweets that linked back to their own account before beginning the Obama ruse, Think reported.
Twitter accounts that appeared to belong to the group, including @TheScriptKiddie and @ScriptKiddi3s, were suspended Monday morning.
Think's website was also shut down at around noon on Monday, but came back online a short time later.
Jeff Misenti, vice president and general manager of Fox News Digital, said Fox was working with Twitter to address the situation.
"We will be requesting a detailed investigation from Twitter about how this occurred, and measures to prevent future unauthorized access into FoxNews.com accounts," Misenti said in a statement.
Obama was spending the day with his family and scheduled to speak on the South Lawn of the White House at 6:30 p.m.
The break-in was the second time in recent months that Fox has been hacked.
In May, the hacking group Lulz Security leaked computer passwords of Fox employees online, changed several employees' LinkedIn accounts and posted the personal information of more than 70,000 contestants from talent show, The X Factor.