Social media accounts for CENTCOM, the U.S. military's Central Command, appeared to have been taken over today. CENTCOM's Twitter and YouTube accounts posted threatening messages to American troops.
The first message hit about 12:30 p.m. Eastern time Monday, and appeared to come from Islamic State sympathizers. It read: "AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS."
The CENTCOM Twitter profile image was changed to a black-and-white graphic of a person wearing a Keffiyeh, with "CyberCaliphate" and "i love you isis" in white letters against a black screen at the top of the Twitter page.
"ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base," another tweet read. "We won't stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children."
CENTCOM is the entity that oversees the ongoing U.S.-led airstrike campaign against militants in Iraq and Syria, and is also training Iraqi troops to respond to the ISIS threat throughout the region.
In a statement, the Central Command confirmed that its Twitter account had been "compromised" and said it "is taking appropriate measures to address the matter." The statement did not elaborate on the extent or seriousness of the hack or who may have been responsible. The account was disabled by Twitter around 1:10 p.m.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama administration is "examining and investigating the extent of the incident."
"This is something we are obviously looking into and something we take seriously," he told reporters Monday, adding he didn't have a lot of information. He said that there is a "pretty significant difference" between "a large data breach and the hacking of a Twitter account."
The Centcom YouTube page was also apparently taken over by the same hackers, with two Islamic State propaganda videos uploaded and the same "CyberCaliphate" banner on the account profile. At 1:20 p.m. Eastern, both videos were still online on the account.
The attack appeared similar to another cyber attack earlier this month in which a group calling itself the "CyberCaliphate" took over the Twitter feeds of two American news outlets as well as the website of a Maryland-based TV news station. The image on the Twitter feed of the Albuquerque Journal, one of the hacked news outlets, showed the same scarf-covered face and text.
XKCD's take is pretty much my take, too. But you never know.