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Hacked Twitter Account Reports Explosion at the White House, Causes Market Plunge

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NEW YORK (CBSDC/AP) — Hackers compromised Twitter accounts of The Associated Press on Tuesday, sending out a false tweet about an attack at the White House.

The tweet said there had been two explosions at the White House and that President Barack Obama was injured. The attack on AP’s Twitter account and the AP Mobile Twitter account was preceded by phishing attempts on AP’s corporate network.

The AP confirmed that its Twitter account had been suspended following a hack and said it was working to correct the issue.

The fake tweet went out shortly after 1 p.m. and briefly sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average sharply lower. The Dow fell about 143 points, from 14,697 to 14,554, after the fake Twitter posting, and then quickly recovered. A Bloomberg report says $136 billion was wiped out from the S&P’s 500 Index in about two minutes following the Tweet. It recovered, however, and ended the session up 1 percent.

A Securities and Exchange Commission spokeswoman declined comment on the incident.

AP spokesman Paul Colford said the news cooperative is working with Twitter to investigate the issue. The AP has disabled its other Twitter accounts following the attack, Colford added.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president is fine.

“I was just with him,” Carney said at a news briefing.

A representative for Twitter did not immediately return messages for comment.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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