A hacker compromised Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's Twitter account on February 21, 2019. The hacker used the compromised account to send out fake bomb threats and missile threats against the City of Tampa staff, Tampa International Airport, and the Tampa VA office.
The bomb threat tweeted by the hacker from the Mayor’s Twitter account read, “@FlyTPA I have hidden a bomb in a package somewhere at the Tampa International Airport. Looking forward to seeing more minorities die,” ABC Action News reported.
The series of fake threat tweets were deleted, but screenshots have been obtained by ABC Action News. The Tampa Police Department reported the threats are not credible. Police department further reported that they are working with the FBI and detectives to determine who is behind the ‘despicable messages’.
Tampa International Airport tweeted that Airport Police are aware of the crooks who hacked Tampa Mayor’s Twitter account and tweeted threats against the Airport.
“Airport Police are aware of hackers who made threats against the airport via the Tampa mayor’s twitter account. Police do not believe the threats are credible but are taking appropriate action to ensure the safety of TPA. Operations for passengers are normal at this time,” Tampa International Airport tweeted.
A statement notifying the residents on the incident
The Communications Director for the Mayor and the City of Tampa published an official statement, in which he noted that upon learning the hack, they immediately started investigations on the incident.
“Earlier this morning we noticed someone hacked Mayor Buckhorn's twitter account, this was clearly not Mayor Buckhorn. Upon noticing the hack we immediately began investigating these reprehensible tweets. We will work with our Tampa Police Department as well as all investigators to figure out how this breach was made,” the statement read.
In the statement, the communications director also requested Tampa residents to reset their passwords and notify officials in case of any suspicious activity.
“We urge residents to change their passwords and continue to alert officials when they see an unlikely change in account activity. We are working with law enforcement to investigate all threats made by this hack,” the communications director said.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn was made aware of the hack and fake threats. “Thank you all for working with us through this process and a special thanks to @TwitterGov for expediting,” Buckhorn tweeted.