US Central Command hacked by group claiming ISIS ties

by Staff, |
The U.S. Central Command's Twitter and YouTube accounts were hacked Monday, Jan. 12, 2015. | Twitter/screenshot

WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) -- The U.S. Central Command's Twitter and YouTube accounts were hacked Monday by a group claiming to be in support of ISIS, the Islamic extremists fighting for control in Syria, Iran and other parts of the Middle East. The accounts have since been suspended while the Obama administration looks into how hackers gained access.

CENTCOM's Twitter background was changed to black with a picture of a hooded Islamic terrorist. "In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate continues its CyberJihad," the feed read.

The Twitter feed had a message warning American soldiers to "watch your back." The hackers also published a list of generals and their addresses, as well as picture of what appears to be active duty soldiers at a military base.

"We won't stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children," they warned.

The hacked YouTube account featured two videos that linked to videos in support of the Islamic State titled "Flames of War ISIS Video" and "O Soldiers of Truth Go Forth." CENTCOM is working on restoring the accounts, they said.

"We can confirm that the CENTCOM Twitter and YouTube account were compromised earlier today. We are taking appropriate measure to address the matter," Central Command said in a statement.

A U.S. defense official source told NBC News that CENTCOM is "scrambling to deal with the issue," and that the hack is "clearly embarrassing, but not a security threat."

Another website, Gizmodo, reported it appears much of the information posted by the hackers may have already appeared "on Pentagon sites and elsewhere on the internet before the purported hack." The documents date back to 2005 and the most recent is from 2008, according to an updated article

"Meanwhile, hacking into a social media account and hacking into CENTCOM servers are two very different things. At first glance, it's hard to tell if the data being leaked is actually secret or confidential," the writer noted. 

The hacking reportedly occured while President Barack Obama was giving a speech on cybersecurity. He referred to the hack of Sony pictures and stated that the ordeal reminded the U.S. of "enormous vulnerability for us as a nation and for our economy."