Self-Identified Islamic State Fans Just Hacked a US Military Twitter Account

The attack came just as President Barack Obama was delivering a speech on cybersecurity.

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Jan 12 2015, 6:12pm

Photo via Flickr user US Air Force

Earlier today, President Barack Obama gave a speech at the Federal Trade Commission Offices in Washington about improving cybersecurity. It was a big deal given the recent Sony hacks and his administration's reputation for being so antiquated it sometimes even relies on floppy disks.

Apparently, Islamic State supporters—or trolls pretending to be them—are not averse to irony. A group calling itself the CyberCaliphate hacked some of the US Central Command's (CENTCOM) social media accounts and used them to disseminate military documents and pro–Islamic State messages just as Obama was delivering his remarks.

It's worth noting that most of the documents were already public record, and some of them could be found readily on the Department of Defense website. And the supposedly threatening rhetoric included fuzzy statements like, "i love you isis."

That isn't to say at least some of the tweets weren't menacing. Although the account is now suspended, at one point it displayed a tweet that read: "AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS." The CENTCOM YouTube account was also hacked.

It's unclear whether the people behind the hacks are legitimately affiliated with the Islamic State. As Business Insider reported at the time, hackers referring to themselves as Cyber Caliphate broke into a few local news outlets' accounts about a week ago.

Some have been quick to point out that Islamic State members never refer to themselves as being part of "ISIS," which means the hackers are probably just pranksters or wannabes. But the fact that anyone could break into two high-profile government social media accounts is disconcerting. Timing it to coincide with Obama's speech just added insult to injury.

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter.

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