1. Tweet Nothings
Take heed daytraders. The Twitter twits are now your trouble too.
The stock market suffered a brief, yet vicious selloff Tuesday after the Associated Press' Twitter account was hacked and a fake tweet reporting "Two Explosions in the White House" was posted at 1:07 pm. The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled more than 150 points before the all-clear was sounded and stocks snapped back to their previous levels. A group of hackers loyal to embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed responsibility for the hoax.
"The @AP twitter account has been hacked. The tweet about an attack at the White House is false. We will advise more as soon as possible," said the AP in a statement at 1:12 p.m. The whole episode, which also brought down oil and Treasury yields, lasted about five minutes and was over by 1:13pm.To be honest, it's been such a busy week for Twitter hacking all over the globe that we were not totally surprised to see it finally wash up on Wall Street.
Last weekend, the Twitter accounts of two CBS programs, 60 Minutes and 48 Hours, were compromised and briefly suspended. And then on Monday, the very same Syrian government sympathizers who allegedly took AP's handle -- and U.S. stocks -- for a joyride assumed the controls of FIFA's Twitter accounts. "Twitter #Failure... You can't stop us!" read one of 14 rogue posts on the official World Cup account of soccer's governing body. Well, they've got a point. It is getting hard to protect Web sites and Twitter feeds from offensive strikes. So much so that defense seems almost futile. Still, we wish these hackers would get their kicks doing something else. Follow @5gsonthestreet -- Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York City.