The Guardian– 4/23/13
AP Twitter hack causes panic on Wall Street and sends Dow plunging – Market recovers after hackers tweeted from the official AP feed that two explosions had hit the White House
Syrian hackers tweeted from the official Associate Press account – “Breaking: two explosions in the White House and Barack Obama injured.” This dropped the Dow about 150 points and caused a loss of 136 billion dollars in a few swift minutes. The market recovered in a short period of time but this incident should speak volumes. Here are a few points that I take from this story.
1) How secure can Twitter be if hackers are able tweet whatever they want from any account? (I read that they obtained access from “phishing” which is sending out an email to employees who clicked on a link and got spyware infected on their computer which in turned gave up passwords)
2) How much has electronic trading has overcome the market that certain triggers can cause widespread panic? (Machines are selling off positions once something like this hits. The DOW dropped 150 in 3 MINUTES!!!!)
3) If it’s this easy, how much money can be gained by making this happen at will? (Profits are made when events like this happen)
4) Why isn’t this story being shown on every TV network? (Avoiding panic is the answer but I certainly think it’s more newsworthy than what I’ve seen)
5) How can the public feel secure investing in this type of market? (I don’t)
This statement from the article really sums up the issue:
But what’s significant here is not the relatively modest damage caused by the ultimately inconsequential hack, which probably does not cross the line separating vandalism from terrorism, it’s the larger and still-unanswered question about where that line is — and what happens when some individual or group crosses it.