Fox News has become the latest high-profile name to have had its Twitter account hacked, this time leading to the publication of hoax messages claiming that US president Barack Obama has been assassinated.
No doubt timed to coincide with the US Independence Day celebrations on 4 July, hackers managed to compromise the Twitter-verified FoxNewsPolitics account and initially posted fairly innocuous tweets, according to The Huffington Post.
The hackers also changed the Fox News icon and altered the account description to: "H4CK3D BY TH3 5CR1PT K1DD3S".
After Twitter moved quickly to take down the first couple of posts, the hackers appear to have posted a message trying to trick the site admins into believing that Fox had regained control of the account.
Soon after, they posted several tweets claiming that Obama had been shot dead while campaigning in Iowa.
At the time of writing, the hackers still appeared in control of the account, with the following post: "We wish @joebiden the best of luck as our new President of the United States. In such a time of madness, there's light at the end of tunnel."
Although Twitter was quick to take down the initial posts, the incident once again highlights the security holes associated with simple password/log-in based account authentication systems such as this.
It also shows the reputational damage that can ensue if firms are not careful about guarding the keys to their accounts.
The ready availability of key-logging kits on underground forums means that hackers can find account log-in information with worrying ease if the intention is strong enough.
Other notable Twitter users who have had their accounts hacked include Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears and even Barack Obama himself.
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