'Watch your back, American soldiers, we are coming': ISIS hacks US Central Command during Obama security speech leaking dozens of files and personal details of 4-star generals
- The Twitter site of the military's U.S. Central Command 'hacked' by ISIS
- The hackers retitled the Twitter page 'CyberCaliphate' with an underline that said 'i love you isis.'
- Threats posted that read 'American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back'
- Pentagon official confirmed that the attack was taken seriously 'at the highest levels'
- 'This is not something we're messing around with,' the official said
- Other postings appeared to list names and phone numbers of top military personnel
- Maps that showed the location of suspected North Korean nuclear sites also posted
- War game scenarios for conflicts with China and Iran leaked online
- Two ISIS militant videos were posted on the YouTube site of CentCom
- A White House official told DailyMail.com the incident is 'a complete embarrassment that has the EOP [Executive Office of the President] freaking out.'
The social media accounts of the US military's Central Command in Florida appear to have been hacked by ISIS sympathizers - posting threatening messages against troops, their families and the home addresses of 4-star US generals.
The cyber attack began at around 12.30pm on Monday when a message was posted to CentCom's Twitter account reading, 'In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate continues its CyberJihad.'
The hackers also changed the photograph used on the the Twitter cover page to a masked jihadi with an underline that said 'i love you isis.'
The security breach, which occurred while President Obama was giving a speech on cyber security, saw death threats made against American soldiers and war game scenarios for conflicts with North Korean and Iran leaked online.
The CentCom YouTube account also had two propaganda videos for Islamic State uploaded.
One of the ominous posts slapped on the Twitter feed read 'American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back' while another warned, 'We won't stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children.'
Compromised: This screen grab made Monday, January 12, 2015 show the front page of the US Central Command twitter account after is was hacked
Herald of attack: This is the message posted onto The US Central Command Twitter feed just after 12.30pm which appeared to indicate ISIS had hacked the account and posted the names, home addresses and telephone numbers of 4-star generals of the US military
Terror: Posted to the Twitter account was this ominous threat to American soldiers which follows a similar video warning posted by Abu Mohammed al Adnani, spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Saturday
Threats: The Twitter hack posted the names, telephone numbers and home addresses of 4-Star US generals
Most of the information leaked is readily available online according to the Washington Post, but the breach is still embarrassing for CentCom which is in overall command of the US-led coalition military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Indeed, while it is not clear if the attack was carried out by ISIS or in fact was another cyber assault linked to North Korea, it does represent a public relations victory of sorts for either one.
US officials confirmed that the U.S. Central Command Twitter account and its YouTube account were suspended 40 minutes after being compromised at around 1.09pm.
A White House official told DailyMail.com Monday afternoon on condition of anonymity that the incident is 'a complete embarrassment that has the EOP [Executive Office of the President] freaking out.'
'We've obviously had trouble fighting cyber-skirmishes in the last few months,' the official said, alluding to the Sony cyber-intrusion that the administration has blamed on North Korea's rogue government. 'Only this one is directly on point because of military operations. Beyond that you're going to have to ask the Pentagon.'
A Pentagon official confirmed that the attack was taken seriously 'at the highest levels.'
'This is not something we're messing around with,' the official said.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest attempted to downplay the incident.
'We're still examining and investigating the extent of this incident, but I don't have any information beyond that,' he told reporters on Monday at the White House.
'This is something we are obviously looking into and something we take seriously,' Earnest added, while providing reporters with no meaningful details about the government's response.
Still down: At around 6pm the US Central Command's Twitter account was still suspended as the cyber hack was investigated
There is a 'significant difference between what is a large data breach and the hacking of a twitter account,' he insisted.
While the attack was occurring President Obama was giving a speech on cybersecurity in which he discussed the hack of Sony pictures.
He used his speech to remind his audience that the cyber attack, reportedly by North Korea, reminded the United States of the 'enormous vulnerabilities for us as a nation and for our economy.'
'If we're going to be connected, we've got to be protected,' Obama said during his speech at the Federal Trade Commission headquarters.
Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren said the Defense Department 'views this as little more than a prank, or as vandalism.'
'It's inconvenient, it's an annoyance but in no way is any sensitive or classified information compromised,' Warren told a press briefing.
Hit during speech: President Obama was addressing the FTA in Washington D.C. while the cyber attack was occurring, giving a speech about identity theft and cyber attacks. A senior defense official confirmed that the two accounts were compromised and said U.S. Central Command was taking appropriate measures to address the matter
While it was not clear that any Pentagon network had been compromised, it did appear that the hackers were successful in temporarily gaining control of Central Command’s Twitter feed, which is controlled through a password.
The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Republican Michael McCaul of Texas, called the incident "severely disturbing."
"Assaults from cyber-jihadists will become more common unless the administration develops a strategy for appropriately responding to these cyberattacks, including those like the North Korea attack against Sony," McCaul said.
The compromised Twitter account also published a list of generals and addresses associated with them, titled 'Army General Officer Public Roster (by rank) 2 January 2014.'
In addition a pastebin link attached to the CentCom Twitter account contains a series of what appeared to be classified and sensitive Pentagon documents.
Most of the leaked material was labeled 'FOUO,' which means 'For Official Use Only,' but none of it appeared to be classified or sensitive information, suggesting the hackers did not breach classified information.
One of the documents appeared to be slides developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory, a federally funded research and development center focused on national security. The slides appeared to depict what it called 'scenarios' for conflict with North Korea and China.
The attack, which the hackers declared to be part of its 'CyberJihad', changed the cover photo of CentCom to that of a hooded ISIS terrorist.
'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,' one of the the post reads.
It added: 'US soldiers! We're watching you!'
The tweets came shortly after U.S. Central Command posted its own tweets about the U.S. and partner nations continuing to attack Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria and one repeating a report that said France will deploy an aircraft carrier to the fight.
ISIS: The terror group claims to have compromised the intelligence and hardware of every single US military base
Social media: The US Military's Central Command YouTube channel was hacked by the ISIS sympathizers - uploading two videos (the first two on the left) related to Islamic State propaganda
Some of the information leaked through the pastebin link concerned military deals involving China and North Korea.
US government officials told NBC news that the Twitter and YouTube accounts are far from classified and that the information published online - which included scenarios for war with China and Iran are not top-secret either.
Some of the leaked documents could easily be found using Google searches, including the U.S. Department of Defense’s “Estimated Impacts of Sequestration-Level Funding,” which is available on a public government website.
Another budget document, “Program Acquisition Cost by Weapon System” is a March 2014 document available on the website of the defense department’s comptroller. Another is a draft version of the 2015 appropriations bill for the Defense Department.
A U.S. Department of Defense official told NBC News 'this is clearly embarrassing, but not a security threat.'
However, some of the maps, which list possible North Korean nuclear missile sites and reactors is readily available at the website of the Federation of American Scientists.
'We can confirm that the CENTCOM Twitter and YouTube accounts were compromised earlier today. We are taking appropriate measures to address the matter,' Central Command said in a statement.
Large scale hacking: The US government instituted new sanctions against North Korea on 02 January 2015 in response to the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment
NATION ON ALERT: NYPD COMMISSIONER WARNS AGAINST LONE WOLF ATTACKS
Warning: NYPD Commissioner William Bratton
has warned the city expects an ISIS-inspired lone
wolf terror attack after a new video calling for
strikes was released by the group
On Monday, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton warned of the danger of ISIS-inspired lone wolf terror attacks after a new video calling for strikes was released by the group.
The NYPD have been warned to look out for jihadi attacks after the terrorist group released a call to attack American police officers, soldiers, intelligence officers and civilians in a social media video on Saturday.
'As you may recall, there was a similar threat, a Twitter threat, back in September, and shortly thereafter there were a number of attacks in Canada, Australia, also an attack here -- an ax-wielding individual attacked four of our officers,' New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said Monday on 'CBS This Morning.'
Following this latest threat, an advisory was issued to NYPD officers urging caution and awareness.
'This one is also very specifically directed at law enforcement personnel, so we're encouraging officers that when they're on these fixed posts, that they be even more vigilant that they might ordinarily be,' Bratton said to CBS News.
'They're there for a purpose, to protect that location, as well as to protect themselves and the public. So if both of them are sitting in the car and they're busy texting away or not paying attention of the surrounding area, they're much more vulnerable to attack.'
Vigilant: Police in New York City have been placed on high alert for possible attacks from ISIS supporters in the U.S. Above, an NYPD officer patrols Times Square on January 8, 2015
An internal memo released to officers in the NYPD says that the new threat should be taken more seriously 'in light of the terrorist attacks in France earlier this week' which resulted in the death of more than a dozen people - most of them staff members of the satirical newspaper.
Indeed, Bratton said that his biggest concern right now is the threat of lone wolf attacks in the city.
'They're continually working to attract new recruits -- not to go fight in Syria as much as to attract new recruits from around the world,' Bratton said to CBS News.
'They're extraordinarily skilled with their public relations campaign, if you will - much more so than the traditional al Qaeda operatives.'
The specific warnings offer advice to officers how to conduct themselves in public.
'If you are assigned to a fixed post, do not sit together in the RMP [police car],' members of the Sergeants Benevolent Association union were told in an email obtain by both The New York Daily News and New York Post .
'At least one officer must stand outside the vehicle at all times. Pay attention to your surroundings. Officers must pay close attention to approaching vehicles . . . Pay close attention to people as they approach. Look for their hands.'
Central Command's YouTube account featured videos posted by the U.S. military of air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq. It apparently was hacked to add two videos titled 'Flames of War ISIS Video' and 'O Soldiers of Truth Go Forth.'
Central Command is based at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida and handles American military operations covering the Middle East and Central Asia.
Central Command oversaw the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and is managing the U.S. air strikes against Islamic State positions in Iraq and Syria.
The intrusion on the military Twitter account carried the same logo, CyberCaliphate name and photo that appeared on the Albuquerque Journal's website in late December when one of its stories was hacked.
Hacked: The Twitter site of the military's U.S. Central Command (pictured) was taken over on Monday by hackers claiming to be working on behalf of the Islamic State militants