Newsweek‘s Twitter account got hacked this morning by a group declaring its affiliation with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Between 10:45 and 10:59 a.m. on February 10, the hackers sent a brief barrage of tweets which, they claimed, exposed official state secrets.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 10, 2015
A tweet posted this morning threatened First Lady Michelle Obama with a “bloody valentine’s day,” saying, “we’re watching you, your girls and your husband.” The magazine’s account then tweeted a series of images that the hackers said were “confidential documents:”
The Islamic militant group ISIS, which has seized control of cities and oil fields in the Middle Eastern area known as the Levant, often uses social media to make “appeals as well as threats” and attract recruits and funding, as the Daily Beast wrote in August 2014. Earlier this year the terrorists hacked the U.S. Central Command Twitter account and posted a tweet that read, “I love you ISIS.”
“We can confirm that Newsweek‘s Twitter account was hacked this morning, and have since regained control of the account,” the magazine affirmed 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.”
Newsweek later clarified more details about the hack, saying its account “was hacked by a group calling themselves the ‘Cyber Caliphate,’ ” a group that has previously claimed affiliation with ISIS. Reporter Polly Mosendz wrote, “The Newsweek account remained hacked for 14 minutes until 10:59 a.m., when Twitter’s support team regained control of the account at the publication’s request.”