The Twitter account of U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in 20 countries throughout the Middle East and Asia, was hacked Monday by cyberattackers claiming to represent ISIS, who posted a message to American soldiers with the warning “watch your back.”
“ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base. With Allah’s permission we are in CENTCOM now,” the attackers wrote.
A Tweet from the hackers included a link to a pastebin post warning they had hacked U.S. cybersecurity interests, and included links to the supposed stolen information. U.S. Central Command’s YouTube account also appears to have been hacked by the same attackers, who posted two YouTube videos appearing to be ISIS propaganda.
Upon taking over the accounts, the hackers changed profile and wallpaper images to that of a masked militant with the words “CyberCaliphate” and “i love you isis.”
The messages described the hacks as acts of “CyberJihad” by the “CyberCaliphate,” and were followed up by tweets claiming to reveal secret information hacked from the Pentagon dealing with Korean and Chinese security interests. The attackers also posted lists of emails, addresses, phone and fax numbers belonging to U.S. military officers.
Google searches for some of the documents dumped by the hackers appear to show they were publicly available online prior to the hack.
U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts were both suspended as of 1:30 p.m.
“We can confirm that the CENTCOM Twitter and YouTube accounts were compromised earlier today,” U.S. Central Command told the Daily Caller in a statement. “We are taking appropriate measures to address the matter. We have no further information to provide at this time.”
The hackers took control of the accounts while President Obama delivered a speech to the Federal Trade Commission about cybersecurity shortly before noon.
“I don’t have a lot of information on this,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters during a press briefing Monday afternoon. “I can tell you this is something we’re obviously looking into and something we take seriously. There’s a pretty significant difference between what is a large data breach and the hacking of a Twitter account. We’re still examining and investigating the extent of this incident.”
U.S. Central Command oversees the U.S. military-led airstrike campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and the training of Iraqi troops in the region, where the Iraqi military is currently engaged in operations to reclaim territory seized by ISIS.
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) January 12, 2015