"Colin was here". Is Sky News having some trouble with its Twitter account?

The Sky News Newsdesk on Twitter just posted an interesting breaking news story from its @SkyNewsBreak account:

Sky News tweet

“Colin was here”

Hmm.. has someone not properly secured access to their Twitter account?

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Is Colin an intern at Sky News who perhaps shouldn’t yet be trusted with the keyboard, especially if it tweets to over 900,000 people?

Hopefully it’s just another goof in the long history of social media snafus, rather than a serious security breach, but it is a timely reminder to all organisations with a presence on Twitter to properly police who has access to the account.

After all, look what happened when hackers hijacked the accounts of AP, The Guardian, the BBC and others…

Update: Sky News has issued a brief press release, claiming that they were hacked.

Sky News press release

The press release reads:

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

Sky News PR tweet

Of course, that statement doesn’t really make clear if the “hacker” came from inside or outside the company.

Certainly, the message doesn’t look like the work of the Syrian Electronic Army who have made a name for themselves recently with their high profile hijackings of media organisation accounts.

What’s your hunch? Malicious hacker or office prankster? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Update: Sky News has now published a further statement on the “hack”, withdrawing their previous claim that they had been victims of a hack:


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.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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