Hackers plant false death rumour of Mikhail Gorbachev
MOSCOW (AFP) - The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was forced to deny rumours of his death after hackers planted a false report on Twitter accounts of a state news agency.
"I'm alive and well," Mr Gorbachev told the website of Novaya Gazeta newspaper late Wednesday, using a blanked-out Russian expletive to describe his ill-wishers who he said were "hoping in vain".
His indignant response came after two Twitter accounts of the RIA Novosti state news agency posted news of the death of the first and only president of the USSR to sign off on a bloodless breakup of its empire in 1991.
RIA Novosti said that the Twitter accounts of its press centre and its German language news service were hacked into and that the false reports were online for only five minutes before the agency removed them.