U.S. Central Command Social Media Accounts Hacked and Taken Down

The Twitter and YouTube accounts purported to belong to CENTCOM were apparently hacked this afternoon. CENTCOM, or U.S. Central Command, is the mega-regional command responsible for military actions in Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. CENTCOM confirmed to ABC News that both accounts had been hacked and that they were taking measures to correct it.

Both accounts have already been suspended. Before being taken down, the Twitter account tweeted a slew of Islamist messages like “AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK!” and two videos were uploaded to the YouTube account. The Twitter account also tweeted out a pastebin filled with documents, but Motherboard EIC Derek Mead tweeted that every file was easily found by searching for it on Google:

The accounts were hacked in the middle of President Obama’s speech on a new cybersecurity and privacy legislation package, though some are wondering if the hacks were done by individuals or groups related to ISIS at all:

These attacks appear identical to those suffered by the Albuquerque Journal and public radio station WBOC last week.

Update 5:15 p.m. EST: A Washington Post analysis of the hacked documents found that most were already easily accessible online:

Although leaking information on retired military personnel may be a gross invasion of privacy and still a serious matter for law enforcement, a lot of the information that “@CENTCOM” tweeted Monday is already available online. For instance, the hackers appear to have taken screen grabs of allegedly “secret” military plans from third-party Web sites, such as that of the widely respected Federation of American Scientists.

BuzzFeed posted a statement from US CENTCOM, which stated that the servers hosting CENTCOM’s social media accounts were on public lands; that none of CENTCOM’s military networks were compromised; and that the hacks had no operational impact on CENTCOM activities. CENTCOM is considering this an act of cybervandalism