The U.S. Central Command has confirmed Monday that its Twitter and YouTube accounts had been hacked by followers of the Islamic State. Central Command said both accounts were quickly suspended, and its website wasn’t affected, Bloomberg reported.
The Twitter messages read: “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back, ” and “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate continues its CyberJihad, ” and, “We won’t stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children.”
Similar inspirational messages were posted on Central Command’s YouTube channel.
Central Command’s real forces are stationed in Afghanistan and the Middle East, places like Iraq, Syria and Iran, where they fight and actually kill Islamic State folks.
Spokesman for the Central Command Colonel Patrick S. Ryder sent out an email message saying: “We are taking appropriate measures to address the matter.”
That has to be a good thing, right?
It appears no classified military networks have been affected. And White House spokesman Josh Earnest noted on Monday the difference “between a large data breach and the hacking of a Twitter account.”
He’s right, of course. But, still, getting hacked by folks who are mentally mired in the 12th century has to feel kind of icky. It was fine when Russian, Chinese, even North Koreans, were doing it to us, but now it’s become obvious we are kind of helpless here, at least when it comes to public information—the kind everybody sees.
Computer hacking of unclassified government networks is on the rise, which is why the FBI opened investigations in November into hacking attacks on the State Department and Postal Service. In response to the attack on the State Department last year, they had to temporarily disable their e-mail system, which means they all had to communicate by other means for a while.
Faxes? Semaphore flags?
The number of reported breaches on official U.S. government computer systems reached 46, 605 in 2013, from 26, 942 in 2009, according to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team. To follow the mathematical pattern here, the number must be close to 100, 000 by now.
Experts speaking to any news outlet that would listen keep saying the Islamist attacks have been basically harmless, no real security assets have been touched, it’s all amateurish stuff, bla blah blah. Well, no vital U.S. security resources were lost in the September 11, 2001 attack, but the world changed that day.
These experts don’t seem to understand that the Islamist “amateurs” are winning the war of shock and awe — yes, the one we were promised we were winning by our former president.
And speaking of presidents past and current, according to Bloomberg, the jihadist hacking happened while President Barack Obama was speaking in Washington about his push to strengthen cyber security and consumer protections from data hacks.