A hacked Twitter account is nothing new. Unfortunately, on a regular basis I get suspicious direct messages and tweets from friends and followers with links to who knows where. They’ve been hacked. Usually, their friends flag that and it’s quickly cleaned up.

But what happens when that hacked account has more than a half million followers? When it’s verified and belongs to one of the most venerable international news organizations? When the hacked content isn’t a questionable link but what would be the most major national security story since maybe ever?

Well, that happened yesterday when the Associated Press saw its account compromised and 71 hijacked characters about explosions at the White House sent the stock markets briefly down and got notice of everyone from the FBI to the SEC. The hacked account was quickly taken offline and suspended. But as Ryan Sholin pointed out this morning when the account was reinstated (but briefly before the offending tweet could be deleted) — more than 4,000 people had retweeted that note (and those are only the ones who used the RT button instead of quoting or adding their own commentary). Read more