MOSCOW, January 17 (Sputnik) – Hackers infiltrated press agency UPI, posting a number of tweets which contained fake claims that a US Navy aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington, was engaged in active combat with Chinese vessels. The hackers also struck the New York Post.
"US Joint Chief of staff: USS George Washington damaged, US navy now engaged in active combat against Chinese vessels in South China sea," tweeted the agencies.
The New York Post’s message was taken down immediately after it was posted.
Our Twitter account was briefly hacked and we are investigating.— New York Post (@nypost) January 16, 2015
The hackers managed to publish several fake tweets via the UPI account, including one with the Pope commenting on the made-up war: “Pope: ‘World War III has begun’”.
According to The Washington Times, UPI deleted the fake tweets later in the day, informing Twitter users that it had been hacked; however, no one has claimed responsibility for the cyber-attack.
The US Navy stated it had no reports of its ships being fired on, USA Today reported. "I can assure you and everybody else that the USS George Washington is safe and sound in drydock," Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon Press Secretary, was quoted by the agency as saying.
- United Press International Twitter Account was hacked Friday© Photo : Taken from Twitter
- United Press International Twitter Account was hacked Friday© Photo : taken from Twitter
John Noonan, spokesman for the House Armed Services Committee commented on the hack, saying on his Twitter account: "Give the hackers this much credit, the George Washington is our permanent Pacific based carrier. They at least did their homework."
— John Noonan (@noonanjo) January 16, 2015
Earlier this week, the Twitter account of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) was hacked by groups claiming to be associated with Islamic State (IS) extremists. The United States has been leading an international anti-IS coalition, formed in September, which has been conducting air strikes against IS militants in Iraq and Syria.
Another notable cyber-attack took place in November, when the personal data of Sony Pictures Entertainment employees was leaked ahead of the release of a movie called The Interview. The hackers demanded that the company cancel the release of the comedy, which tells the story of an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The FBI blamed North Korea for the attack; however, Pyongyang denied the claim, calling for a joint investigation.