U.S. President Barack Obama became the target of a sick hoax on America's Independence Day (04Jul11) after hackers took over Fox News' Twitter.com account and falsely announced the leader had been assassinated.
Security on the network's politics blog was breached early on Monday morning (04Jul11) and the assailants sent out a series of "breaking news" tweets alerting followers to the shocking revelations.
Two of the posts read: "Barack Obama has just passed. The President is dead... Breaking News: Barack Obama assassinated, 2 gunshot wounds have proved too much. It's a sad 4th for america."
Fox News officials failed to spot the unauthorised activity until hours later and the tweets were subsequently deleted.
In a statement addressing the controversy, Fox TV executives say: "Hackers sent out several malicious and false tweets claiming that President Obama had been assassinated. Those reports were incorrect, of course, and the president was spending the July 4 holiday with his family at the White House."
The incident has now been reported to the Secret Service for investigation.