Cyber Defense

Pro-ISIS hackers compromise Central Command's social media sites

The battle against ISIS took a brief turn into the cyber domain Monday, when hackers sympathetic to the terrorist group compromised the U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube sites for about 30 minutes.

U.S. officials later in the day confirmed the hack, which they dubbed cyber vandalism. Just after noon Eastern time, the command’s Twitter account showed a purported ISIS fighter with the words “CyberCaliphate” next to it, along with a link to a message reading "AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK," according to a report by Defense News. devices, and “know everything about you,” the Defense Department said Centcom’s social media sites are hosted on commercial servers that are not part of DOD’s operational networks. The Twitter and YouTube sites were taken down for examination. The Twitter account was restored about 10 p.m. Monday, though the YouTube account remained offline as of early Tuesday.

“Centcom's operational military networks were not compromised and there was no operational impact to Centcom,” a Centcom statement said. No classified information was posted, despite the hackers’ claims, and none of what was posted came from Centcom servers, according to the statement. “We are viewing this purely as a case of cybervandalism.”

Centcom said it has notified DOD and law enforcement agencies, and the FBI reportedly is investigating.

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