January 15, 2015

Centcom Twitter hack and the rewards of digital vandalism (+video)

By Ben FitzGerald

When US Central Command’s social media sites were taken over by the "Cyber Caliphate" earlier this week, it marked the third time in recent days in which unknown hackers defaced websites with messages supporting the Islamic State, the jihadi group fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Vandalism of Twitter and YouTube accounts or a TV station website is hardly a challenging cybercrime. Yet this recent rash of digital graffiti, even if it's the work of pranksters, has handed the militants a public relations victory in a fight against the West taking place on battlefields and online.

"It makes the US military look silly," says Ben Fitzgerald, director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for New American Security in Washington. "The Cyber Caliphate looks more technologically savvy than Centcom, which isn't the case."

Read the full article at the Christian Science Monitor.

  • Ben FitzGerald

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Ben FitzGerald was a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at CNAS. In this capacity, Mr. FitzGerald led CNAS efforts to explore...