Saturday 29 April 2017

Hacker responsible for Trump 'gunfire' tweet, BBC Northampton says

BBC Northampton claims a hacker was responsible for a tweet saying Donald Trump had been shot (AP)
BBC Northampton claims a hacker was responsible for a tweet saying Donald Trump had been shot (AP)

A BBC regional news outlet briefly provoked alarm by appearing to break a world exclusive about a gun attack on Donald Trump.

BBC Northampton said its Twitter account had been hacked after it unexpectedly announced: "Breaking News: President Trump is injured in arm by gunfire #Inauguration".

It followed the historic swearing-in ceremony of the new US President in Washington DC which came against a backdrop of violent protests across the country.

The apparent global scoop from the East Midlands broadcaster was met by a mixture of bafflement and disbelief from online users.

One asked: "Are you sure?"

Another said: "Guessing you've been hacked? Not seen this ANYWHERE else!"

After a short period of confusion, the tweet was deleted and a clarification was sent out citing a message from US-based OurMine Security Group.

It read: "Message from OurMine: we detected unusual activity on this account, the account was hacked by someone and we are trying to fix the issue now."

The BBC reported it had asked OurMine if it was responsible but a group spokesman told the broadcaster they only "re-hacked" the account to check it had been broken into.

BBC Northampton later tweeted: "Apologies to anyone who saw an unusual tweet from our account this morning. We do appear to have been hacked and we are looking into how."

A BBC spokeswoman said: "BBC Northampton's Twitter account was hacked this morning.

"The tweet was removed quickly, as soon as we realised the situation. We are investigating and taking steps to ensure this does not happen again."

Press Association

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