"BREAKING: Two explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured."
That's the Tweet that appeared on The Associated Press Twitter feed early Tuesday afternoon. MAJOR NEWS, right?
Thankfully it was a hoax. There were no explosions inside the White House and President Obama was not harmed.
Unfortunately, it was the work of a hacker who gained control of the AP's Twitter account. The hack-job was preceded by phishing attempts on the AP's corporate network.
No harm done? Not quite. The Associated Press is followed by nearly 2 million Twitter users. So as soon as those 71 characters were read by followers all over the world, the Dow Jones Industrial Average took a sharp, albeit brief, dip.
The AP's Twitter account has been suspended while the news giant works with Twitter to determine what went wrong.