These are dangerous times. Today, hackers claiming to be part of the Middle East terror group ISIS say that they are responsible for the dangerous hack of U.S. Defense Department accounts. The accounts belong to the Pentagon and CENTCOM (U.S. defense operations across the Middle East and southern Asia). I have copies of the messages posted by these hackers and share them with you later on in this article.
“What does this mean to me?” It's easy to feel that you are not part of this story. There is more you need to know.
First the good news. Both the Pentagon and CENTCOM accounts were suspended almost immediately after the hack was discovered. The bad news is this. The hackers managed to send some terrifying messages and claimed to leak secret documents before they were shut down.
One tweet read "In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate continues its CyberJihad." Cyber Caliphate is a group that claims to be part of ISIS and purports to planning a series of cyberattacks on individuals and businesses across the U.S.A.
The tweet was accompanied by pictures of what look like documents revealing the personal information of U.S. military personnel. An official with the Department of Defense confirmed the hack to an NBC News reporter.
Other messages sent from the Twitter account included claims that Cyber Caliphate hacked more than just CENTCOM's Twitter and YouTube accounts.
The hackers claimed to reveal secret plans that they found through hacking CENTCOM's servers. In reality, all of the images that hackers linked on their Twitter accounts were publicly available information.
I think that hackers who are sympathetic to the ISIS terrorists hacked CENTCOM's Twitter and YouTube accounts, but I don't think that the security breach went further than that.
The terrorists continued and tried to scare our Armed Forces with statements like this.
"We won't stop!" the Cyber Caliphate hackers claim, "We know everything about you, your wives and children."
The Cyber Caliphate hackers have not cracked the U.S. Department of Defense's security. This cyberterrorism seems to be an attack aimed right at the hearts and minds of our armed forces. However, I would venture this is not the last we have heard of them.
If you know someone in the service or if you just want to stay one step away from these cyberterrorists, let these tips be your guide:
- Hackers like the Cyber Caliphate often try to exploit some of the simplest mistakes that computer users make with their passwords. Are your passwords making you an easy target? Make sure yours are locked down.
- The security questions that accompany your email and social media profiles might be crackable. How? It's simple; a hacker stalks your Facebook profile to figure out your mother's maiden name. Find out how to lock down your Facebook account right here.
- All military personnel should always be checking their personal computers for viruses or snoopware. Click here to find out how to detect and remove a virus.
But really, this is a more important lesson and reminder for all of us, not only the Armed Forces.
The terrorists want to hurt us. They will do what they can to do this. They don't care what it takes. A cyberattack is inevitable.
Be sure you have security software on your tablet, PC, Mac and phone. If you already have some, great news. But if not, click here to check out the security software that I use.