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"CyberCaliphate" takes credit, claims to have gained access to classified documents
I've said it before and I will say it again: if all of the hackings, data breaches and nude photo scandals of 2014 couldn't get people to care, then I really have no idea what ever could.
Well, how about one of the most dangerous organizations on the planet potentially gaining access to classified government documents? Would that do it?
Google and YouTube accounts belonging to the U.S. Central Command were hacked on Monday, it has been confirmed to VatorNews by the US Central Command. Both accounts have since been suspended as a result of the breach.
“We can confirm that the U.S. Central Command Twitter and YouTube accounts were compromised earlier today,” a CENTCOM spokesperson told VatorNews. “We are taking appropriate measures to address the matter. I have no further information to provide at this time.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, the attackers claimed to be either affiliated with, or at least sympathetic to the Islamic State, or ISIS, a.k.a. the group that has been all over the news for the last few months after it was able to take control of several regions inside both Iraq and Syria.
The most important part of this story are reports that the hackers were able to get their hands on classified documents as a result of the attack. Some of the Tweets put out by the group included phone number for top military commanders, as well as what the hackers said were military scenarios for potential conflicts with North Korea and China.
The group, which calls itself "CyberCaliphate" also posted a message to PasteBin on Monday, with links to documents on other websites
The message reads, in part:
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate under the auspices of ISIS continues its CyberJihad. While the US and its satellites kill our brothers in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan we broke into your networks and personal devices and know everything about you.
You'll see no mercy infidels. ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base. With Allah's permission we are in CENTCOM now.
We won't stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children.
U.S. soldiers! We're watching you!'"
Currently, the government is downplaying the potential ramifications of the attack, with one unnamed senior Pentagon official telling the Journal that the information posted by the hackers on the Twitter account did not appear to be highly classified documents.
“It does not appear to be anything problematic,” the official said.
VatorNews reached out to both Twitter and YouTube for comment on the attacks.
A Twitter spokesperson would only say, "We do not comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons. The Pentagon has requested our assistance with an account security issue, and we're working with them to resolve it."
The spokesperson also assured me that, "Verified government accounts have additional security requirements beyond unverified accounts."
YouTube was not available for comment at this time. We will update this story if we learn more.
(Image source: recode.net)
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What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests.
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Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.
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Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes.
We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.
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There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.
In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet.
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We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users.
We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.