ISIL supporters hack Newsweek’s Twitter account

SAN FRANCISCO – The Twitter account of news outlet Newsweek was hacked Tuesday by ISIL supporters who then issued threats against President Barack Obama and his family.

Once the account was breached, hackers calling themselves Cyber Caliphate replaced the banner image with a letter promising “cyberjihad” in retaliation for the fighting in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Je suis IS,” read the letter, mocking the slogan adopted by supporters of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine attacked last month by terrorists.

The account also threatened Michelle Obama, claiming that the hackers were watching her, her husband and the couple’s two daughters.

The attack began at 10:15 a.m. and hackers remained in control for 14 minutes, according to Newsweek. By 10:59 a.m., Twitter’s team had taken back the account from the attackers.  

“We can confirm that Newsweek's Twitter account was hacked this morning, and have since regained control of the account," said Newsweek managing editor Kira Bindrim 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.”

It appears Cyber Caliphate hackers also breached the International Business Times website and the Latin Times Twitter account on Tuesday, according to Newsweek. The three outlets all belong to parent company IBT Media.

The FBI is already investigating the breach, according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

The Cyber Caliphate group has also claimed responsibility for hacking the Twitter accounts of the U.S. Central Command and pop star Taylor Swift. The attack on Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East, also involved its YouTube account. 

The hacking comes immediately after news that the Obama administration is opening up a new agency focused on cybersecurity.

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