Hackers hit CENTCOM sites, reveal contact info and issue threats
WASHINGTON — Hackers claiming to be with the militant group Islamic State took control of U.S. Central Command’s Twitter feed and YouTube channel Monday, posting threats to servicemembers and contact information of military staff and retired brass.
The postings lasted about 30 minutes and included what appeared to be a contact roster for U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., and other commands, the cell phone numbers and home addresses of some retired generals, and maps of North Korea and China. Stars and Stripes could not immediately verify if the documents were authentic.
On CENTCOM’s YouTube channel, the hackers uploaded Islamic State propaganda videos and footage of the group’s fighters.
When contacted Monday, a CENTCOM spokeswoman said the command was still gathering information on the hacks.
“We can confirm that the CENTCOM Twitter and YouTube accounts were compromised earlier today,” the command said in a released statement. “We are taking appropriate measures to address the matter. We have no further information to provide at this time.
Its Twitter feed was suspended just after 1 p.m. Eastern time. The YouTube channel was disabled soon after the Twitter account was suspended.
There’s “no evidence that any DOD system, any DOD computer, any DOD network has been compromised or breached,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said late Monday.
DOD Social Media Activity is in contact with Twitter and YouTube officials to make sure the DOD social media accounts are “up to snuff,” Warren said without elaborating
Warren said it was “too soon” to say who was responsible, but that there were no indications of other hacking activity against DOD.
“This is little more in our view than a cyber prank. It’s an annoyance … [but] it in no way compromises our operations.”
“We broke into your networks and personal devices and know everything about you,” said one message posted to the Twitter account. “You’ll see no mercy, infidels. ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base.”
The message said the Islamic State is waging a “cyber jihad” through a “cyber Caliphate,” referring to the group’s stated goal of creating its own global fundamentalist Muslim state beginning in Iraq and Syria.
“We won’t stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children,” the posted threat continued. “U.S. soldiers! We’re watching you!”
Subsequent tweets also claimed that the Pentagon’s computer networks had been hacked. An uncaptioned photo posted to the Twitter account showed what appeared to be the interior of a military office with desks and two soldiers, one with a goat.
The hack comes after the FBI says North Korea infiltrated Sony Pictures networks in November, releasing private company emails and leaking the unreleased movie The Interview. The incident raised U.S. concerns over cybercrime and warfare by enemies.
Stars and Stripes reporter Jon Harper contributed to this story.