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US military Twitter account suspended after hack

13 January 2015, 09:24

Washington - The Twitter feed for the US military command that oversees operations in the Middle East was hacked on Monday by people claiming sympathy to the Islamic State militant group being targeted in American bombing raids.

US officials said that the US Central Command Twitter account and its YouTube account were suspended after being compromised. Two US defence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the hacking was an embarrassment but did not appear to be a security threat.

The White House said it was monitoring the extent of the hacking incident.

"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate continues its CyberJihad," the Centcom Twitter feed said after being hacked.

The Twitter feed had several messages from hackers, including one telling American soldiers to "watch your back", and the YouTube account had two videos that appeared to be linked to Islamic State.

The Twitter account published a list of generals and addresses associated with them, titled "Army General Officer Public Roster [by rank] 2 January 2014".

Subsequent posts read, "Pentagon Networks Hacked! China Scenarios" and "Pentagon Networks Hacked. Korean Scenarios."

"We can confirm that the CENTCOM Twitter and YouTube accounts were compromised earlier today. We are taking appropriate measures to address the matter," Central Command said in a statement.

President Barack Obama is preparing to outline new proposals to protect the United States from cybersecurity threats.

After the hacking, the heading of the Central Command Twitter account showed a figure in a black-and-white headscarf and the words "CyberCaliphate" and "I love you ISIS," using an acronym for the Islamic State group.

Central Command's YouTube account featured videos posted by the US military of air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq. It apparently was hacked to add two videos titled "Flames of War ISIS Video" and "O Soldiers of Truth Go Forth."

Central Command is based at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida and handles American military operations covering the Middle East and Central Asia. Central Command oversaw the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and is managing the US air strikes against Islamic State positions in Iraq and Syria.

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- Reuters


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