By Sanjeev Relia
In perhaps one of the most embarrassing cyberattacks against the US Defence establishments, the ISIS cyber wing hacked into the US Army Central Command Twitter Page and retitled it as “Cyber Caliphate” with a strapline stating ‘We love you ISIS’. Threats were posted on the page that read ‘American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back’. Two ISIS militant videos were posted on the YouTube site of Central Command.
This is perhaps the first time that the ISIS has openly demonstrated that they can take on the might of the US Army through the cyber domain as well. Though the hack may not have caused any damage to the US military, it certainly has left their credibility dented and a lot of people red faced. The message sent across by the hacking incident was very clear: “If you cannot protect your own data, hosted in servers in your own country, how do you propose to protect the world”? The timings of the attack are of special significance. The hacking occurred while President Obama was giving a speech on cyber security.
Though the Pentagon spokesman classifies this as little more than a prank, or as vandalism, yet the US government despite having spent $59 billion for data protections since 2010, could not ensure foolproof security of its own defence sites. The above hacking incidence and the Sony hack earlier in December 2014 are clear indicators of how just a few motivated non-state actors can take on the might of a powerful nation like the US in cyberspace.
The cyber security experts in India need to sit up and take a serious note of the above incident. If a nation like the US, which virtually owns the Internet, could face such embarrassment, we in India could lose much more by such attacks.