Hackers claiming to be ISIS take over military's Twitter, YouTube pages

Hackers claiming to be the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Monday took over the Twitter and YouTube accounts for U.S. Central Command.

The background banner and profile photo on the military command’s Twitter page was changed to a black-and-white photo of an ISIS fighter with the words “Cybercaliphate” and the phrase, “i love you isis.”

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The account switched to Twitter's default graphics after about 20 minutes and was suspended 20 minutes later.

"We can confirm that the U.S. Central Command's Twitter and YouTube accounts were compromised earlier today," a Central Command official said.

"We are taking appropriate measures to address the matter. I have no further information to provide at this time," the official said.
 
Central Command (Centcom) is responsible for overseeing the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, which controls large swaths of territory inside Iraq and Syria.

The compromised account sent out a number of Tweets, the first around 12:30pm declaring: “AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK.”

The account posted an update stating, “the CyberCaliphate under the auspices of ISIS continues its CyberJihad.

“While the US and its satellites kill our brothers in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan we broke into your networks and personal devices and know everything about you,” the post said. “You’ll see no mercy infidels. ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military based. With Allah’s permission we are in CENTCOM now.”

The feed gave out another handful of updates giving out the public rosters of Army officers and commands. In addition, the account tweeted out Powerpoint slides pertaining to China and North Korea.

“Pentagon Networks Hacked!” the account proclaimed.

None of the documents posted were marked “top secret.”

The group also posted two videos on Central Command's YouTube page, both of which remained up for roughly an hour before the account was terminated.

Central Command’s Facebook page is still operational and appears unaffected.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that the hack was something the administration was "looking into, and that we obviously take seriously."

But he cautioned there was a "pretty significant difference between what is a large data breach and the hacking of a Twitter account."
 
House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) called the cyberattack "deeply disturbing," and said said a strategy is needed to keep such hacks from becoming more common.
 
"Without laying out the rules of the game for offensive responses and having direct consequences, cyber threats and intrusions from our adversaries will continue and escalate," McCaul said.

— This story was last updated at 3:56 p.m.

Justin Sink contributed.