MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Twitter account for U.S. Central Command was suspended Monday after it was hacked apparently by ISIS sympathizers or a group affiliated with them.READ MORE: Florida Man Steve Shand Charged After 4 Found Dead At Canada-US Border
“We can confirm that the CENTCOM Twitter and YouTube accounts were compromised earlier today. We are taking appropriate measures to address the matter. Our initial assessment is that no classified information was posted. When we have more, we’ll be sure to let folks know,” according to a CENTCOM spokesperson statement.
The account has since been suspended.
The series of unusual tweets were published with apparent warnings from ISIS, as well as links, images and Pentagon documents that reveal contact information for members of the military.
The first tweet was published at about 12:30 p.m. ET and read: “AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS.” It included a link to a data storage site called Pastebin and the hashtag “#CyberCaliphate.”
The account’s profile photo became a black-and-white image of a person wearing a Keffiyeh, or scarf, around their head.
A group calling itself CyberCaliphate claimed responsibility. “CyberCaliphate” and “i love you isis” were sprawled out in white letters against a black screen at the top of the Twitter page.READ MORE: Sergei Bobrovsky, Panthers Roll Over Struggling Oilers 6-0
“I can tell you this is something that we’re obviously looking into, and something that we take seriously. However, just a, you know, a note of caution to folks as they’re covering this story, there’s a pretty significant difference between what is a large data breach and the hacking of a twitter account. So we’re still examining and investigating the extent of this incident but I don’t have any information beyond that for you,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Central Command’s YouTube page was also apparently hacked and contained ISIS propaganda videos depicting militant fighters. The group also claimed to have obtained and released classified documents, though Defense officials said it does not yet appear that any documents that have been released were labeled classified. That account was suspended shortly after the Twitter account was taken down.
On the Twitter account, the hackers also posted what appear to be military scenarios for China and the Korean peninsula, and a photo that appeared to be taken inside a military base with the words, “ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base,” but these claims have yet to be verified by the Pentagon.
CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin reports that the military scenarios appear to have been produced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and that the military rosters were not up to date, listing some generals who had moved onto other jobs.
He also said the contact information is “readily available” to people like reporters who cover the Pentagon.
“There’s an awful lot of information that is pretty standard, run-of-the-mill information which just hasn’t been released to the public and I think that’s the category that this roster would fall into,” Martin said.
Tampa-based Central Command oversees U.S. forces battling militants in Iraq and Syria as well as its troops in Afghanistan. Along with the U.S. Special Operations Command, it is located at MacDill Air Force Base.
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