A group claiming to be affiliated with the Islamic State hacked the Twitter and YouTube accounts of U.S. Central Command.
U.S. Central Command is one of nine unified commands in the United States military. The hacking occurred Monday, when the first tweet read “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back. ISIS” The tweet linked to a larger message on Pastebin, in which the hackers claim to have obtained confidential information from their “networks and personal devices.”
The group wrote that “ISIS continues its CyberJihad” and praised “Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate.” It warned the “infidels” that “ISIS is already here” in soldiers’ personal computers,“in each military base” and that it knows everything about them and their families. The group claims to have uncovered essential information such as names, addresses and contact details of high-ranking army officials, as well as plans of action in North Korea and China in the event of attack.
The hackers uploaded propaganda videos on the U.S. Central Command’s YouTube account, but both accounts have since been suspended. The Wall Street Journal quoted an anonymous defence confirming both Twitter and YouTube accounts were compromised and saying “appropriate measures” are being taken to address the matter. Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren revealed in a subsequent briefing that the Defence Department “views this as little more than a prank, or as vandalism.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest acknowledged the gravity of the situation, but insisted “there’s a pretty significant difference between what is a large data breach and the hacking of a Twitter account.”