Note:This story was updated at 3:56 p.m. ET.
Fake "dummy" content and outdated stories appeared on the front page of the Fox News website for approximately 45 minutes Tuesday afternoon, with banners announcing "World Zombie Day" and a months-old Apple announcement.
While recent attacks on news outlets such as the New York Times show that news sites are vulnerable targets, the site's inaccurate date of May 16, 2013 and hodgepodge of news and filler text was not the work of malicious hackers, but network administrators who accidentally posted a test page, according to Fox News. “During routine website maintenance, a home page prototype was accidentally moved to the actual site," Fox News Chief Digital Officer Jeff Misenti, told NBC News in a statement. "As with any mistake in testing, engineers noticed the error and quickly brought the site back to its normal function.”
A report from Is It Down Right Now showed a brief disruption at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET. The official Fox News Twitter account acknowledged the website error at 2:59 p.m. ET, and the website was restored shortly thereafter.
Helen A.S. Popkin is deputy editor of Technology & Science at NBC News. You can find her on Twitter and/or Facebook.
First published November 5 2013, 1:02 PM