Hijacking a web feed of the Macworld 2009 conference, hackers have made spoof announcements about the death of Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple.
Earlier this week, Jobs clarified persistent rumours about his health saying that he is suffering from health problems caused by a hormone imbalance.
AdvertisementHowever, the entire web world was inundated with false claims of his demise via a fabricated live feed from Macworld Expo after hackers managed to breach security on a well-respected web site.
The hackers fiddled with the micro-blogging feed at Macrumorslive.com, which was running smoothly through the first 23 minutes of the keynote speech given by Phil Schiller, senior vice president of marketing at Apple.
But, out of nowhere a message was posted that said: "Steve Jobs just died."
While the micro-blogging feed continued with developments about iPhoto, it was after three minutes that the feed came up with a clarification.
"Retraction on Steve Jobs comment ... we don't know how that got in our feed. Steve did not die," The Telegraph quoted the feed, as saying.
Another message came soon after, and said: "Oh wait, sorry, Steve did die. Our condolences."
The hackers were found to have affiliation with a website called 4Chan.
The anonymous participants of 4Chan have discussed a number of high-profile online pranks, including attacks on the Church of Scientology and the breach of a Yahoo email account belonging to vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
"Our MacRumorsLive keynote coverage was hacked today, inserting inappropriate content into the text and photo feeds. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to restore our services," read an item on Macrumors.com.
While bloggers have claimed that the site's passwords have been out on 4Chan since a day before the hack, but the claims have not been confirmed as yet.