@CENTCOM Twitter account was compromised just before 1PM EST yesterday, January 12th, in what was an apparent hack by someone impersonating the terrorist group ISIS. Several disturbing messages were posted- including videos and threats against American soldiers. The header image featured the text “I love you Isis.”
Military officials stated that the Department of Defense and other law enforcement agencies (the FBI) are investigating the matter- but clarified that no classified information was released or compromised in any way.
This event comes on the heels of the recent terrorist attacks in France- and leaves many feeling unsettled and shaken.
The White House press secretary Josh Earnest announced that the incident is being taken seriously but also reminded Americans that there is a “pretty significant difference between what is a large data breech and the hacking of a twitter account.”
One thing that Twitter, YouTube, or any other social media platform user can do to prevent being “hacked” (or “phished” as it’s typically called) is to change your passwords often, use a combination of upper case and lower case letters, numbers, and other characters if the respective site allows.
A good rule of thumb is to change your passwords at least once a month. Set up two-step verification using your phone so you can track log-ins, and if you notice any suspicious activity on your account, change the password immediately.
It’s also wise to be careful what kind of details you post about yourself on social media- and make sure none of your passwords can be guessed based on the things you share (i.e. some companies use a product as part of their password or using your pet’s name as a password).
At this time, it is unclear that ISIS was actually behind the attack, and the situation remains fluid and details will be forthcoming as the investigation progresses.