Being hacked is one of the big fears that people with computers have had for a long time. But a new form of hacking is particularly nasty – using electronic accounts to spread lies.
A couple of weeks ago hackers from an electronic terrorist group calling itself, “Syrian Electronic Army,” caused the DOW to drop 145 points. These terrorists managed to do something that even the Boston bombers weren’t capable of doing…they shook the financial markets. How did they accomplish this? Was it a bomb? Was it a hostage situation? No. It was a Tweet…one lonely little tweet.
Tweets are small electronic messages (microblogs) limited to 140 characters. Tweets have become a way of life for many and they are used to spread information to millions of people instantly. Major firms are now implementing tweet based technology. The problem? What happens when reputable sources, such as the media giant, AP (Associated Press), get hacked? And that is exactly what SEA managed to do.
The terrorists from the Syrian Electronic Army sent a tweet purporting to be from the Associated Press saying that there had been two explosions at the White House and President Barack Obama had been injured. The DOW went down 145 points instantly. Markets quickly rebounded after the AP said its Twitter account had been hacked, but incredible damage might have been done to our financial markets…all from one tiny little, unsupported, piece of information.
Misinformation is a major cause of pain and suffering in this world. In Acts 21:28-40, Paul is seized by a mob due to wild accusations and misinformation. In Joshua 22, misinformation and supposition almost led to civil war. Jesus told His disciples, “see to it that no one misleads you” (Matthew 24:4). He informed them that some would claim to be the Christ (5), some would start rumors of wars (6), and others would claim that the Christ had come (23). The Christian must be very careful to listen to good information, not being duped by rumors.
Financial markets might get fooled from false Tweets, but the real tragedy would be to get fooled about salvation. The best way to avoid that, of course, is by staying in the true Word of God – the only reputable source.