As the workday ended on Friday (Sept. 9), soulless hackers took over the Twitter feed of NBC News and posted a message claiming that terrorists had hijacked at least one plane and flown it into the Ground Zero memorial site in New York City.
Spotted by researchers at the security firm Sophos, the account, @NBCNews, was compromised with several messages, the first of which read, "Breaking News! Ground Zero has just been attacked. Flight 5736 has crashed into the site, suspected hijacking. More as the story develops."
The following tweet read, "Flight 4782 is not responding, suspected hijacking. One plane just hit Ground Zero site at 5:47." That post ended with the hashtag "#groundzeroattacked."
NBC News' Twitter page is currently down.
A group calling itself the "The Script Kiddies" has taken responsibility for the hack. The group's Twitter feed, @s_kiddies, is also currently down.
Security researchers believed online crooks would spring into action to capitalize on public sympathy surrounding this weekend's 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 tragedy. While it was expected online scammers would launch attacks, this is the first online prank to materialize.
If you come across this or any other message on Twitter or other social networks, ignore it, and don't click on any attached links. Go to reputable news sources' actual websites if you're looking for breaking news.