Hackers took over the Twitter accounts of the New York Post and United Press International on Friday, writing bogus messages, including about hostilities breaking out between the United States and China.
One tweet posted under the UPI account quoted Pope Francis as saying, “World War III has begun.”
Another message delivered on the Post account said the USS George Washington, an aircraft carrier, was “engaged in active combat” against Chinese warships in the South China Sea.
The tweets were subsequently deleted.
A Post tweet later noted that “Our Twitter account was briefly hacked and we are investigating.”
The fake tweets were not just about war. One posted on UPI said “Just in: Bank of America CEO calls for calm: Savings accounts will not be affected by federal reserve decision.”
The Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
Several media organisations have had their Twitter feeds hacked over the past two years including Agence France-Presse, the BBC and others.
A Pentagon official said the tweet about hostilities with China was “not true”.