The Cable

Hacked! U.S. Army Public Relations Site Goes Down

Another U.S. government site goes down for the count.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 3.35.56 PM

It has been a rough start to the week for the U.S. Army’s battalions of tech geeks, who spent the better part of Monday fighting through a series of hacks to the service’s official website by the Syrian Electronic Army hacking collective. The group claimed responsibility on Twitter.

While the site doesn’t contain any classified or personal information — it’s primarily a public relations portal for the Army to tell its story, in its own words, to the public — the hack brings to mind another awkward moment this past January when a group calling itself the CyberCaliphate got into the U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts for about 30 minutes and created a little mayhem.

Monday’s attack has lasted a bit longer. It kicked off at about 1 p.m. when a pop-up box reading, “Your commanders admit they are training the people they have sent you to die fighting,” was splashed across the main page.

By 3 p.m. the entire site was down completely, replaced by a text box that said simply, “Hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army.”

While it almost certainly falls well short of the suspected Chinese hack of the Office of Personnel and Management, which has potentially exposed the personal information of up to 4 million current and former federal workers, it’s one of those small gut punches that the Defense Department — for obvious reasons — tries to avoid.

Army Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost, chief of public affairs, said in a statement that while an “element of the service provider’s content was compromised,” the Army “took appropriate preventive measures to ensure there was no breach of Army data by taking down the website temporarily.”

Photo: screen shot of U.S. Army website by Paul McLeary/FP



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