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Hacked WSJ page ‘downs’ US president’s plane in Russia

Published time: July 20, 2014 20:05
Air Force One (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

Air Force One (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

Hackers broke into the Wall Street Journal’s Facebook page to claim that Air Force One possibly crashed over the Russian airspace rattling users’ nerves.

While the world is still recovering from the shock of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash, a message on WSJ’s Facebook page posted on Sunday morning came as yet even a worse stress for a few readers.

The fake “breaking news” report suggested that the American president’s plane went down in Russia.

US Air Force One crash feared as air traffic controller loses contact with pilot over Russian air space,” read one of the posts on WSJ’s page.

The message, shared by over 300 users, was followed by another false announcement:

To readers’ relief in a message posted 20 minutes later, the American newspaper said that its page was hacked and that it was looking into the incident.

Two previous “breaking news” posts were deleted, but several users made screenshots of a likely hackers’ attack.

The incident sparked a wave of jokes, sarcasm and criticism from readers who poured their emotions into comments on the WSJ page.

While some users, as they confessed, were simply “freaking out” and got “a panic attack”, suspicious minds tried to find a confirmation on other sources. Others dug even deeper asking “how do we know that the page isn't compromised NOW and that stuff before was real?

Easy-going people apparently took the entire incident with a sense of humor suggesting that it was time for Harrison Ford to come save the world and announcing that they’ve got things ready for a nuclear war. “I did buy an anti-atomic shelter 20 mins ago. Who's gonna refund me now?” one person wrote in comments.

Some readers noted that the news outlet should have taken more care with its account password.

You shouldn't have used "newyorktimes" as password,” one user said. “Change your Facebook password from 'password' to something smart like '123456',” another one added.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is in the US, safe and seems to be having a nice weekend at Camp David.