ISIS Supporters Hack U.S. Military’s CENTCOM Twitter Account

Jan 12, 2015 at 1:21 PM ET

Cyber warfare is heating up. ISIS supporters calling themselves the Cyber Caliphate hacked into the Twitter account of the United States Central Command on Monday afternoon and began posting a series of threatening messages. The hackers, who remain anonymous, say they are launching a “CyberJihad” and will be releasing personal information about U. S. soldiers.

One of the tweets included a link to a Pastebin post with the following message:

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, 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.You’ll see no mercy infidels. ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base. With Allah’s permission we are in CENTCOM now. We won’t stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children. U.S. soldiers! We’re watching you!

In the same post, the hackers included four links to documents. Those documents, they wrote, contain “confidential data from your mobile devices.” In the span of several minutes, the hackers appeared to be posting screen shots of information they obtained, including maps of potential nuclear reactors within North Korea.

Within 30 minutes, Twitter had suspended the Cyber Caliphate account. The FBI said it was investigating.

Cyber Caliphate first popped up last week, when it hacked into the Twitter accounts and websites of newspapers in New Mexico and Maryland.

Update: While the hackers claimed in their tweets that they had breached actual Pentagon networks, the Pentagon appears to be denying that claim. Elissa Smith, a U.S. Defense Department spokeswoman, tells me in an e-mail that she believes the hacked CENTCOM social media accounts—not its internal systems—were the “only ones I’m aware of.”

“We can confirm that the U.S. Central Command Twitter and YouTube accounts were compromised earlier today,” she says. “We are taking appropriate measures to address the matter. I have no further information to provide at this time.”

Earlier today, an Army spokesperson told Vice that some of the hacked documents—including soldier’s home addresses—came from password-protected Army sites. However, none of those documents appear to be confidential.