Earlier this morning, the official Twitter account of US Central Command (CENTCOM) was apparently hacked by members of the ISIS terrorist organization in the form of public protest from the much maligned group.
“AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS,” one tweet read, along with a link to a Pastebin document that pointed to Zip archives containing various allegedly leaked files.
US Central Command is the main office which handles operations and foreign policy coordination in the Middle East, including countries like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Syria.
Because of their close proximity to the region, the outfit has proven themselves to a highly desired target for anyone who supports terrorist ideals in the region.
In a Snowden-esque move, the group leaked several sensitive documents related to key strategies as high up as prepared military scenarios if China were ever to attack, but also as benign as transportation protection maneuvers in the Atlantic.
Other information included a detailed list of Pentagon employees, along with military personnel that included their full names, home addresses, and phone numbers.
The generals higher up in the chain were a bit safer, with only work emails revealed, and in the address column it reads “Contact information is not releasable.”.
Thought to be the work of the CyberCaliphate, the hackers have been on a spree for the past week, attacking not only the Twitter account of CENTCOM but also lesser known targets, such as the Maryland TV station WBOC, and the Albuquerque Journal.
There’s been speculation where the data was stolen from, as much of what was posted on the Twitter was at least semi-classified in nature and could not have simply been swiped off of any old computer.
“We won’t stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children,” read one such tweet.
Most of that sort of information is supposed to be kept on internet-redundant servers and offline servers, so it’s surprising to see that a ragtag group of ISIS supporters were able to not only crack into such a critical US agency, but also that attack plans could be so easily accessed by anyone with a spare chunk of malware laying around ready for the job.
More confusing still is that several of the recovered PowerPoint presentations look to be the work of outside thinktanks, such as those at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, as well as the Federation of American Scientist.
Because of the wide range of sources, no one is nailing down where the leaks started just yet, but the choices are being narrowed down by the day.
It’s still unclear whether the CyberCaliphate have any direct ties to ISIS themselves, however with their targets and specific message content in mind, it’s hard to imagine that if they’re not working together, they’re still fans to the point that they want to be public about it.
Around an hour after the attack begun, representatives from Twitter banned the account, which has still has yet to go back online as of this writing.