Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect an official statement by U.S. Central Command and background information on the alleged hacker group, CyberCaliphate.
Hackers claiming to be affiliated with the Islamic State hacked the official Twitter and YouTube accounts of the U.S. Central Command Monday, posting official personnel roster information, pro-ISIS videos and presentation slides that appeared to be related to military contingency plans for China and North Korea.
A tweet posted at approximately 12:29 p.m. EST Monday announced “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back, ISIS.” Within minutes, the hackers continued to flood the CENTCOM Twitter feed with official military roster documents, some marked “For Official Use Only,” and what appeared to be sensitive presentation slides detailing intelligence requirements for contingency operations involving potential conflicts with North Korea and China.
“We can confirm that the U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts were compromised earlier today,” a Defense official told FedScoop on background. “We are taking appropriate measures to address the matter,” the official said, adding that “the situation is evolving.”
In a statement released late Monday, CENTCOM discounted the seriousness of the incident. “CENTCOM’s operational military networks were not compromised and there was no operational impact to U.S. Central Command,” the statement said. “We are viewing this purely as a case of cybervandalism.”
CENTCOM officials also said none of the information that was posted by the hackers was classified and did not come from CENTCOM servers.
“In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate under the auspices of ISIS continues its CyberJihad,” a hacked Twitter post stated. “While the U.S. and its satellites kill our brothers in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan we broke into your networks and personal devices and know everything about you. You’ll see no mercy infidels. ISIS is already here, in your PCs, in each military base. We won’t stop. We know everything about you, your wives and children.”
Additional postings included links to free file downloading sites that listed “war_scenarios” files and “us_army_files.zip.”