In January of this year a group within ISIS calling itself the CyberCaliphate hacked into U.S. Central Command’s (CENTCOM) servers and compromised not only the military database, but also Twitter and YouTube accounts.
Military.com reports they then proceeded to issue threatening messages to U.S. military personnel. Although the Pentagon has issued no official confirmation, the hack and subsequent threats appear legitimate. The White House kind of did confirm and kind of didn’t at the same time.
This is some scary stuff folks!
A rather disturbing Tweet went out to the general military population that read “We won’t stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children.”
Another broad message was a threat aimed at all personnel that read “AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS.”
American officials said they were confident that the hack went no further than social media and accounts were swiftly suspended yet one of these “CyberCaliphate” Tweets was entitled “Pentagon Networks Hacked! China Scenarios,” including “China Scenario ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance] Collection Needs,” with various maps of Southeast Asia.
I don’t know if any of the hacked data will in any way compromise military integrity, readiness, or they acquired any actionable intelligence, but this incident is quite disturbing – the fact that ISIS was able to penetrate these accounts with relative ease.
White House spokes liar Josh Ernest briefed reporters saying in effect to fear not – that the administration is on the case. That should make you feel better. It does me. He said, “there is a significant difference between what is a large data breach and the hacking of a Twitter account.”
Yes, Josh, there is quite a bit of difference, if that is what happened. Ernest added that they were “still examining and investigating the extent of this incident, but I don’t have any information beyond that.” A government official’s lips are moving, what does that tell you?
Coincidentally, or not (probably not), the hack was done on the same day President Obama was giving a speech on cyber-security, complete with a backdrop of dozens of military personnel.
A NATO commander explained that “What we have seen across the last several months is that every time they take a defeat on the battlefield, or every time they are under great pressure on the battlefield, they come out with kind of some big splash like this.”
So does that mean all is well, that Obama’s grand plan, as General McInerney said, of flying an average of seven sorties per day is working well enough to “destroy and degrade ISIS?” Seven doesn’t seem sufficient. During Desert Storm we flew an average of 1200 sorties and in Iraqi Freedom it was around 800.
Add to the fog of this conflict: Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tex., Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, who said that a number of Americans had joined ISIS and had returned to the U.S. – “a number that I can’t disclose publicly. They’re here in the United States, and I think, unfortunately, it [an attack] would be not so difficult to pull off.”
Yeah, I feel real good about the whole “destroy and degrade ISIS” plan. Don’t you? And don’t worry about our military. Obama will keep them safe.