The Fox News Politics Twitter account was hacked early this morning, and a number of Tweets claiming that President Obama had been assassinated were sent out. Fox has acknowledged the hack, but apparently still can't access the account—as of this post, the Tweets still haven't been taken down.
If you get your news exclusively from the Fox News Politics Twitter account, you will be relieved to hear that the president is not dead, to the best of our knowledge. Rather, the account seems to have been hacked at around midnight on Sunday by a group, vaguely aligned with Anonymous, calling itself "TheScriptKiddies." ("Script kiddies" is a pejorative term for wannabe hackers. I guess they're trying to reclaim it?)
At first, according to The Huffington Post, the hackers claimed responsibility, changing the account icon, linking to their own Twitter account, and reaching out to the @AnonymousIRC account, offering to "assist" the hacktivist band.
But after two hours of no one caring, it looks like they decided to have a different kind of fun. The account icon was reverted back and the hackers Tweeted "Just regained full access to our Twitter and email. Happy 4th." And then: "@BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead. A sad 4th of July, indeed. President Barack Obama is dead." They claimed the president had been shot in a restaurant in Iowa, and wished "luck" to Joe Biden. A few minutes after they started the hoax, the Twitter went silent.
Fox News wrote in a statement that it "regrets any distress the false tweets may have created"—though the company appears to still be locked out of the account, as the Tweets are still up. (They should maybe call Twitter about this?)
Meanwhile, TheScriptKiddies' Twitter account appears to be suspended. (We imagine the Secret Service would like to have a few words with them as well.) According to student-run SUNY Stony Brook magazine Think, which spoke with someone claiming to be one of "the Script Kiddies" shortly after the hack, the group consists of a few "former" members of Anonymous, and was formed to take part in the anti-security industry movement antisec. As to why the group chose Fox News:
"We are looking to find information about corporations to assist with antisec. Fox News was selected because we figured their security would be just as much of a joke as their reporting," said the Script Kiddies representative.