- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Newsweek’s Twitter account was  hacked on Tuesday morning by Islamic State sympathizers as the White House prepares to unveil new cyber security initiatives. 

A group calling itself the “cyber caliphate” changed the appearance of the news source’s verified Twitter profile at 10:45 a.m. EST. A photo of a covered face with the phrase “Je suIS IS,” was posted, Politico reported. The phrase was a play on “Je suis Charlie,” which became a rallying cry after the the terrorist attack on France’s satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The hackers then tweeted out images of documents from the Defense Cyber investigations Training Academy from the Newsweek profile. The images included an organization chart, account request forms for DCITA, and documents titled “Concept of Operations for Open Source Information and Social Media Analysis, The Gist Mill Pilot Project,” Politico reported.

“While the U.S. and its satellites are killing our brothers in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan we are destroying your national cybersecurity systems from inside,” one tweeted image read, the website reported. “We continue Cyber Jihad inside Pentagons’ computer networks. Today we publish confidential documents from the US National Cybersecurity Center.”

In one tweet the hackers seemed to threaten the first family saying “Bloody Valentine’s Day #MichelleObama! We’re watching you, you girls and your husband.”

Mashable editor Brian Ries, who used to run the social media at Newsweek, tweeted that in May 2013 the DBI warned the news organization that Syrian-backed hackers were actively trying to breach the magazine’s account, Politico reported.

“We can confirm that Newsweek’s Twitter account was hacked this morning, and have since regained control of the account,” Newsweek managing editor Kira Bindrim said in a statement. “We apologize to our readers for anything offensive that might have been sent from our account during that period, and are working to strengthen our newsroom security measures going forward.”

The latest hack comes after a slew of recent attacks by possible Islamic State sympathizers on Twitter accounts, including UPI, The New York Post and U.S. Central Command. It also comes the same day that White House homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco is expected to unveil a plan for a new national cyber center to combine efforts by the intelligence community, law enforcement and homeland security at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Politico reported.

Newsweek appears to have corrected the problem, tweeting “We’re back on Twitter after being hacked” at about 12 p.m. EST.


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