Washington, Jan 13 (IANS) The Twitter and Youtube accounts of the US Central Command was hacked Monday by a group claiming to back the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) jihadi organisation.
According to a Fox News report, for several minutes, the Twitter account of the Centcom was filled with incendiary messages promoting the IS, including one that said, “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back. ISIS.”
Another page showed what appeared to be an image from a computer web camera in a military facility. An accompanying tweet said, “ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base.”
Shortly after the page was taken over, Twitter suspended the account. Centcom’s YouTube page was also compromised.
“We can confirm that the US Central Command Twitter account was compromised earlier today,” a US defence official told Fox News, adding, “Centcom is taking appropriate measures to address the matter.”
The cyber attack sent US military officials scrambling to respond. “This is bad,” one Centcom source told Fox News.
The Twitter account, while it was compromised, carried an image identifying the page as “CyberCaliphate,” with a message that said, “I love you ISIS.”
The page began posting screen shots of information about military commanders, including phone numbers and email addresses. It also posted what purported to be “Korean scenarios” and “China scenarios,” with maps.
The same image on top of the hacked Twitter page was also emblazoned atop Centcom’s YouTube page.
Asked about the hacking attack, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest described it to be “something we take very seriously.” However, he stressed that there was a difference between a “large data breach” and the “hacking of a Twitter account”. He said that officials were investigating the extent of the incident.
The US and its allies have been undertaking air strikes against the IS in Iraq and Syria.
The hacking attack by the IS comes after the terrorist attacks in France last week, in which 17 people and three attackers died.