The apparent hack of the US military’s Central Command Twitter and YouTube accounts linked to ISIS is already being called into question, only a few hours after threatening messages were tweeted and the @CENTCOM handle was deactivated.
The Washington Post – which also ran a story detailing the hack allegedly orchestrated by "sympathizers of the Islamic State militant group" – is reporting that the information and photos obtained by "CyberCaliphate," or the hackers, "is publicly available from other sources and appears to be nonclassified information."
"This is important because the hackers clearly want to make it seem as though they’ve successfully pulled off a major data breach," the report added.
While the hack could turn out to be more dangerous, right now it looks as if only social media account passwords were compromised, according to Vox.
Earlier on Monday, Central Command confirmed to media outlets that its account was "compromised," and that it "is taking appropriate measures to address the matter."
Anonymous US defense officials told Reuters the hacking "did not appear to be a security threat," but was "an embarrassment." The White House is reportedly looking into the hack, and US officials told the wire service that both its Twitter and YouTube accounts were suspended.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said during a press conference that the administration is taking the hack seriously, but "there's a pretty significant difference between what is a large data breach and the hacking of a Twitter account."
On Twitter, #CENTCOM became a top trending topic in the US, with little fear expressed over the incident.
DoD calling #CENTCOM hacking a "cyber prank" that did not compromise its secure websites. In contact with Twitter/YouTube— Nancy Youssef, ????? (@nancyayoussef) January 12, 2015
many #centcom "hacked" docs were already public: so did hackers add them to spice up their splash? Or genuinely thought them new?— Geoff White (@geoffwhite247) January 12, 2015