The Twitter and YouTube accounts of US Central Command were hacked on Monday, the Pentagon said.
Hackers claiming to be from Islamic State had posted videos appearing to be from the terrorist group on CentCom’s YouTube feed. They also posted information on Twitter that appeared to show contact information for military officers and Power Point slides that it claimed it had hacked from military computers.
The Twitter posts threatened US soldiers and their families, claiming “we broke into your networks and personal devices and know everything about you.”
“We won’t stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children. US soldiers! We’re watching you!” the hackers posted in a link to the file-sharing site Pastebin.
Central Command, which leads US military operations in Iraq and Syria, dismissed the incident as a case of “cybervandalism.”
It said that no operational military networks were compromised and that its operations were not affected in the breach that lasted about 30 minutes.
The accounts are on commercial, non-Defence Department servers and have been taken off-line while the incident is investigated, Centcom said in a statment.
“Our initial assessment is that no classified information was posted and that none of the information posted came from CENTCOM’s server or social media sites,” it said.
“Additionally, we are notifying appropriate DoD and law enforcement authorities about the potential release of personally identifiable information and will take appropriate steps to ensure any individuals potentially affected are notified as quickly as possible.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest earlier said that there was no evidence that classified or personal information had been accessed.
“There’s a pretty significant difference between what is a large data breach and the hacking of a Twitter account,” he said, noting that the extent of the incident was still being investigated.
The military was taking appropriate measures in response to the hacking, the Pentagon said.