NBC News’ Twitter account was hacked Friday, and false messages posted claiming that an airliner had crashed into the former site of the World Trade Center.
A group calling itself The Script Kiddies has claimed responsibility for the attack. Posts were made claiming that a civilian airliner had been deliberately crashed into the Ground Zero site in the same manner as the original 9/11 attacks.
“Breaking News! Ground Zero has just been attacked. Flight 5736 has crashed into the site, suspected hijacking. more as the story develops,” read the first message.
It was followed shortly after by an other tweet, reading: “This is not a joke. Ground Zero has just been attacked. We’re attempting to get reporters on the scene.”
The posts were removed within minutes.
“The NBC News twitter account was hacked late this afternoon and as a result, false reports of a plane attack on ground zero were sent to @NBCNews followers,” says NBC.
“We are working with Twitter to correct the situation and sincerely apologize for the scare that could have been caused by such a reckless and irresponsible act.”
The Script Kiddies are a breakaway group from the better-known Anonymous and LulzSec, and have also claimed responsibility for a similar recent attack on the Fox News Twitter account, in which false messages were posted claiming that Barack Obama had been shot.
The hack appears to have been carried out via a precisely-targeted spear-phishing attack – only three people are beleived to have known the password to the account.
The FBI is believed to be investigating.