Earlier today the U.S. military’s Central Command had its Twitter and Youtube accounts hacked by a group claiming allegiance to ISIS. Both accounts have since been taken offline, but not before damaging the reputation of the U.S. military, and demonstrating its security measures are inadequate. So far the U.S. Central Command Facebook page has not been hacked, however the reasons why are unclear.
The military is currently investigating to find out more information about the incident. Losing control of social media accounts is considered a minor concern, and they are more interested in the possibility of actual classified data being stolen. However at this point it appears no sensitive data has been compromised. They have not determined if this hack was actually pulled off by ISIS, or another group who are simply trolling the U.S. military.
Peter Singer, an analyst for the think tank New American Foundation, argues that the effects of this hack are very minimal stating, “Let’s remember this is a social media account. This is not a military command and control network. This is not a network that moves classified or even non-classified internal information back and forth. Essentially what they did is for several minutes take control of the megaphone.”
The hackers did use their brief time in control of the accounts to post threatening messages on Twitter, including ones telling American soldiers to watch their back, and that ISIS was coming for them. They used the Youtube channel to post several propaganda videos. The hackers also posted some military documents. However they were all documents they were already available online. They were not leaking any secret or classified information.
While the actual harm to the U.S. military seems to be minimal, it is nevertheless a blow to the reputation of the U.S. military, and a morale boost to terrorists. The U.S. military needs to take stronger security measures if they want to avoid embarrassing incidents like this in the future.
Do you think this incident has harmed the reputation of the U.S. military? Should the U.S. do more to combat so-called cyberterrorism? Leave your comments below.