Newsweek’s Twitter Account Hacked Into by “CyberCaliphate”

Newsweek magazine’s Twitter account was briefly hacked on Tuesday by a group calling itself CyberCaliphate. (PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter)
Newsweek magazine’s Twitter account was briefly hacked on Tuesday by a group calling itself CyberCaliphate. (PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter)

Infiltrated social-media accounts had brands cringing Tuesday after nefarious or unauthorized messages were posted to the online identities for Newsweek magazine, a Twitter Inc. executive and Delta Air Lines Inc.

Newsweek’s Twitter account was hacked, with fake messages posted threatening President Barack Obama’s family and claiming to publish confidential government documents. The magazine’s profile photo and banner were changed to include the words “CyberCaliphate” and “Je SuIS IS” — a reference to the shooting attacks in Paris last month.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the “intrusion,” Josh Earnest, White House press secretary, said in a briefing Tuesday.

While Newsweek regained control of its account in less than 15 minutes, the news organization wasn’t the only company coping with social-media security issues Tuesday. The Twitter account of the company’s own chief financial officer, Anthony Noto, sent hundreds of auto-replies containing spam links, indicating his account was compromised, and Delta is investigating objectionable sexual content that appeared on its Facebook page.

The Newsweek tweets showed what looked like government security records, including what the group claimed were confidential documents about “Pentagon warfare in social networks,” and an organizational chart of the Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy marked “For Official Use Only.” The group, calling itself CyberCaliphate, also took over the U.S. military’s Central Command Twitter feed last month for about 30 minutes, filling it with praise for Islamic State militants and threats against the U.S. military.

Newsweek Tweets
“Bloody Valentine’s Day #MichelleObama! We’re watching you, you girls and your husband!” said one tweet on Newsweek’s Twitter page.

“We can confirm that Newsweek’s Twitter account was hacked this morning, and have since regained control of the account,” Newsweek 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.”

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SOURCE: Bloomberg, Alex Barinka