IT MAY have been a coincidence, but it was still highly embarrassing. On January 12th Barack Obama called for new federal laws that would tighten up how students’ personal data is protected and force companies whose systems have been breached to notify their customers promptly. Yet it seems America’s military needs a reminder to keep its own data safe, too. The same day, hackers calling themselves the “CyberCaliphate” briefly took over the Twitter and YouTube channels of the country’s military command that oversees operations in the Middle East.
American officials scrambled to downplay the severity of the attack, with a Pentagon spokesman describing it “as little more than a prank or as vandalism”. Before the channels were shut down by the Americans, the hackers had time to post a few propaganda messages about their “CyberJihad”, including one telling American troops fighting Islamic State’s advance to “watch your back”. They also posted a number of military documents, such as a list of generals and maps that appeared to show maritime defences along China’s coastline and the location of missile sites and nuclear...Continue reading