CENTCOM sites hacked, publish pro-Islamic State propaganda

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The official Twitter feed and the YouTube page for US Central Command (CENTCOM) were hacked on Monday. The hacker(s) posted messages threatening CENTCOM staff and warning that “ISIS,” an acronym commonly used in the West to describe the Islamic State, had infected CENTCOM’s computers.

US officials appear to have regained control of the accounts since they were initially compromised. As of this writing, however, CENTCOM’s Twitter feed is inactive.

CENTCOM uses its Twitter feed to regularly post updates on the airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Of course, just because the hacker(s) claims to be acting on behalf of ISIS does not mean the cyber intrusion was necessarily launched by the group. Western officials and journalists frequently call the Islamic State “ISIS” or “ISIL,” which is a reference to the group’s previous name, the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, or the Levant. But the organization changed its name to simply the “Islamic State” in June.

Some of the posts mention the “CyberCaliphate.” A Twitter account using that handle has been suspended.

“In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate continues its CyberJihad,” one of the hacked tweets read. A roster of CENTCOM staff members, including their contact information, was included in the tweet.

Another tweet read: “AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS.” The hashtag #CyberCaliphate was included in the tweet.

Still another tweet included a longer message.

“In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate under the auspices of ISIS continues its CyberJihad. 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,” the message reads. “You’ll see no mercy infidels. ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base. We won’t stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children. U.S. soldiers! We’re watching you!”

The authors of the tweet then claimed that “confidential data” from CENTCOM mobile devices were included in a file that was linked to in the tweet.

Two other tweets purportedly show US surveillance or war scenarios for China and North Korea.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for The Long War Journal.

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4 Comments

  • Jackbo Godfrey says:

    Currently, the Radical Islam vs USA/West is definitely more of a propagand or InfoWar.
    This is a new era of digital based warfare which stints like this might lead one to consider who is “winning”. The popular response “Je Suis Charley” proved overwhelming popular support against Radical Islam despite their best efforts.
    The main thing is that Radical Islam’s “infection” of the population, particularly the moderate Muslim majority does not spread. Even if there may be a slight surge in recruits for Jihadis, there numbers worldwide are not strong enough. Nonetheless, looking at history, how much of a critical mass of committed cadre does a movement win to get things going?

  • Birbal Dhar says:

    A bunch of hackers who are basically trolls. If they were really from the Islamic state, they certainly wouldn’t call themselves as the acronym ISIS. No one from that terrorist group uses the term ISIS, as it is derogatory for them to use the names of Iraq and Syria.

  • irebukeu says:

    Simple password hack. The Syrian electronic army does the same sort of thing.

  • Victoria says:

    They are prepared for both terrorism and for cyberwarfare. Where do they get the money to have so many resources?

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis