WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Twitter and YouTube accounts used by U.S. Central Command were hacked Monday by Islamic State sympathizers and used to post a series of threatening messages, as well as internal documents the group claims to have stolen. Both accounts have since been suspended.
“In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate under the auspices of ISIS continues its CyberJihad,” the group said in a statement linked from Twitter. “While the US and its satellites kill our brothers in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan we broke into your networks and personal devices and know everything about you.”
Pentagon officials have not confirmed whether any of its computers were actually breached, but an investigation is now underway. The White House said it was monitoring the incident, which began at about 12:30 p.m. ET when the first tweets were posted. It continued for nearly an hour.
Some of the photos posted to the Twitter account showed the names and contact details of military personnel, including generals, but the information did not appear to be explicitly classified. At least some of the files were marked ‘For Official Use Only,’ a security designation meaning the file is not classified but intended for internal use only.
Two other tweets showed documents of Pentagon scenarios regarding North Korea and China.
The statement linked to from Twitter also included links to a number of files purported to have sensitive data which the group claimed was stolen from Pentagon computers. A BNO News technology expert who investigated one of the links received an .exe file, indicating it was likely a virus and did not contain any documents. Two other links were already taken down by the hosting site.
“American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back! … We won’t stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children,” one of the threatening messages said. The YouTube account of U.S. Central Command was also compromised and used to upload two propaganda videos previously released by ISIS.