A group calling itself the Cyber Caliphate hacked the Twitter and YouTube accounts for the U.S. military’s Central Command on Monday. “I Love you ISIS,” the group posted atop CENTCOM’s Twitter page, along with threats to American soldiers and a cache of documents it claimed to have hacked.
But all is not what it seems with the cyber jihadis. Privately, defense officials told The Daily Beast they were skeptical that the hacking was conducted by ISIS but said it was too early to say who carried out the attack.
And there are early signs that the Cyber Caliphate may be more of a ruse than a group of hardline Islamic extremists. One of the seven Twitter accounts it followed was “Andrew Jackson Jihad,” a folk punk bank from the American Southwest.
A Pentagon statement confirmed Monday that “the U.S. Central Command Twitter and YouTube accounts were compromised,” adding that Department of Defense (DoD) officials were taking “appropriate measures to address the matter.” The breach lasted less than two hours, starting at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. CENTCOM’s Twitter account was shut down first, followed by its YouTube channel, which was used temporarily to post ISIS propaganda videos.
Control of the military’s social media accounts was a clear security breach but may not by itself have given the hackers access to sensitive information.