Threats from hacked Twitter account of Tampa mayor 'not credible,' police say

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Tampa police and the FBI hope digital fingerprints will lead them to the person or people who hacked Mayor Bob Buckhorn's Twitter account Thursday, posting racist, misogynistic, and pornographic messages and photos.

Obvious changes started being made to Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s verified Twitter account before 4 a.m.

Tampa PD spokesperson Steve Hegarty called the hack "very persistent," saying it "went on for several hours and they changed up a lot of things."

Some of the tweets included threats, but police said those are not credible.

"I have hidden a bomb in a package somewhere at the Tampa International Airport," one tweet read. "Looking forward to seeing some minorities die." 

Airport officials have since said there is no evidence of a bomb at the airport, and operations for passengers are normal. 

Another tweet appeared to be an emergency alert, claiming a ballistic missile was headed toward Tampa.

"There were some things that were posted that were quickly taken down and are clear violations of law," Hegarty explained.

Threats against city workers and the Tampa VA Office were also posted on the mayor's hacked account.

By 8 a.m., the Twitter account and offensive tweets remained online.

The mayor's spokesperson, Ashley Bowman says the moment the mayor and the city learned about the hack, they immediately worked with Twitter to shut down the account and add additional security to the account.

"I don't think anybody’s happy when you're being violated from the outside and you don't know who is doing it. It's not something that makes you smile on a Thursday morning," explained Bowman.

Tampa police say the department has updated the agency's Twitter account with a new password and added a second layer of verification, as well.  TPD suggests the public do the same.

"Make sure you have a robust password and do the login verification, which means you not only have a password but you have a code beyond that which makes it more difficult for somebody to hack," said Hegarty.

Mayor Buckhorn was out of the state on a hunting trip when his account was hacked. Thursday afternoon he was headed back to Tampa.