Social media users beware: only a few days after the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) Twitter feed was hacked by pro-ISIS pranksters, Twitter feeds belonging to two major news agencies were similarly compromised to spread a very serious message.
The Twitter feeds of UPI and the New York Post were compromised this morning, in a seemingly coordinated attack spelling doomsday for the world. Both accounts sent out a wave of tweets detailing how a US aircraft carrier had been attacked in the South China Sea by Chinese anti-ship missiles, sparking all-out war.
Luckily for the world, the two nuclear powers are not at war after all. Minutes after the hack, editors from the New York Post acknowledged that their Twitter feed had been compromised, and pulled the tweets. UPI, on the other hand, has still not regained access to their account at the time of writing (and the doomsday tweets remain active).
Even the Pope "chimed in" on the fake news:
Aside from a few outlying doomsday preppers, most people weren't all that amused at the fake news, or the hackers' not-so-subtle attempts to ruin their weekend plans.
Because of the coordination and the amount of homework put into these Twitter pranks, the currently unidentified hackers have bragging rights over many of the other, more childish, Twitter hackers.
Still, the incident only serves to highlight poor account security on behalf of major organizations like UPI and the New York Post - this wasn't a sophisticated attack, but most likely the result of boredom and a few savvy password guesses. If the Post and UPI had taken steps to increase their password security, none of this would have happened, and Twitter's userbase wouldn't have to worry about any forthcoming world wars.