White House/AP Cyber Attacks 2 Connected Groups 1 Big Problem

4/23/2013 4:00 PM PDT

Hacked AP Twitter & White House Cyber Threats -- Two Connected Groups, One Big Problem

Two hacking groups have taken credit for launching cyber attacks against the AP and the White House ... but the perps are connected to the core ... TMZ has learned.

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) claims they "owned" the AP after successfully hacking into its Twitter account and posting a fake item that President Obama was injured in an explosion. According to reports, SEA has hacked Twitter for months to spread political messages. 

Exposed, the group behind most major celebrity swattings, is flying its flag as the team behind today's 911 bomb threat directed at the White House.

Sources close to the investigation tell us, the two groups are actually connected and have members working for both operations. Our sources say Exposed came out first to claim responsibility for the fake bomb threat.  As we've previously reported, Exposed has taken credit for more than a dozen celebrity swatting calls.

As for why SEA took credit for the AP prank ... it's unclear.  What is clear is that the prank was coordinated between the 2 groups -- a 1-2 punch, if you will.