US military social media accounts hacked by supposed ISIS terrorists
By RYAN GORMAN
The U.S. Department of Defense Central Command's Twitter feed and YouTube page were briefly infiltrated by hackers claiming to be associated with the Islamic State just as President Barack Obama was speaking about cyber security.
The self-titled "Cyber Caliphate" took over the @CENTCOM Twitter account at around 12:30 Monday afternoon but officials appeared to have regained control just before 1:00 p.m. The CENTCOM YouTube page began displaying ISIS propaganda videos around the same time.
Officials confirmed the hack to NBC News, but a former Department of Defense official told AOL News that no classified information was released as a result of the incident.
"AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK, ISIS," said one of the chilling messages posted to the DoD account by the insurgents.
Another tweet was a screen grab of the following rant.
Another tweet on the enemy-controlled account bragged the terrorists had gained control of all military computers.
Others appeared to show internal documents outlining multiple military scenarios involving China and the Korean peninsula.
Documents alleged to be detailing Pentagon employees' personal info were also posted to the account, which Twitter finally suspended at 1:10 p.m. EST.
Robert Caruso, a former Department of Defense special security officer and former defense official, called the infiltration "a big deal" in comments to AOL News.
"Nothing released was classified," Caruso explained. "Which is irrelevant, because they communicated threats to retired Generals & Admirals.
"It is a big deal, Caruso continued before stopping short of calling it a major security breach.
"Just because you can find it does not make it unclassified," said the former Pentagon employee. "It's important to draw the distinction between what's called USCENTCOM being hacked, and someone compromising the @CENTCOM Twitter account.
"Whoever is responsible for this chose an asymmetric approach because they know the United States is still playing catchup in that arena."
The CENTCOM YouTube page showed multiple terror propaganda videos and was still in the hands of the cyber terrorists until being suspended just after 1:30 p.m.
The stunning development came as Obama spoke about the need for more rigid online security, according to Business Insider.
"If we're going to be connected, then we need to be protected," Obama said in a speech at the Federal Trade Commission offices, according to Huffington Post.
"As Americans, we shouldn't need to forfeit our basic privacy when we go online to do our business," he continued.
CENTCOM's account was infiltrated only days after the same "CyberCaliphate" group assumed control of Twitter accounts for a Maryland television station and the Albuquerque Journal newspaper.
The DoD website was also running very slow or timing out for many users. It is unclear if this is a result of increased traffic resulting from the incident or if the hackers were able to bring the site offline.
AOL News is currently reviewing documents posted online by the self-proclaimed cyber jihadists.
This is a developing story, more information will come as it is made available.
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