Earlier today, it seemed that Sky News had become the latest organisation to suffer a Twitter security breach, after someone managed to access its social media account to tweet a message.
However, later on Tuesday afternoon Sky News posted an update to the incident: "Further investigation uncovered, to our relief, that Colin was in fact a ‘disaster recovery’ test message which accidentally went live. Apologies.
......no Colin was harmed in the making of this message."
The tweet was short and innocuous, and is unlikely to have had any negative implications for the news outfit, aside from slightly red faces over lax social security procedures. Posted at 11.52am on Tuesday, it simply read: "Colin was here."
The message was greeted warmly by the Twittersphere, getting retweeted more than 6,000 times and favourited almost 2,000 times in its short lifespan. Sky News deleted the tweet, and posted its own response confirming that all was well and good again, and that Colin had been located, although it did take the firm 85 minutes to react.
Panic over. We've found #Colin. All is well. Normal service has resumed over on @skynewsbreakSky News initially thought the tweet was the result of a security breach: "Earlier today the @skynewsbreak twitter feed was hacked and a single message sent. Action was swiftly taken and we are working with Twitter and our in-house security to ensure this cannot happen again," the firm said.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 14, 2013
The incident is one of several to have occurred recently, highlighting the need for companies to improve their social media security measures. When bigwigs at HMV were making redundancies, the person with the logins to its Twitter account took to the social site to spill the beans on the layoffs.
Other news sites such as the Associated Press and The Onion have both recently fallen prey to Twitter hacks from phishing operations, while writer Candace Bushnell had her account breached by Guccifer, the same hacker who famously breached the account of former President George W Bush. In the case of Bushnell, the attack also led to a costly data breach as the first 50 pages of the Sex and the City author's new novel were leaked