Syrian Electronic Army claims to have hacked United States Central Command (CENTCOM) servers while US denies it

The Syria based pro Assad, Syrian Electronic Army today claimed to have breached the servers of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM).  This attack seems to be in reprisal of United States funding and donating advanced military gear to the Syrian rebels as well as the US’s intention to use cyber warfare against Syria.

Syrian Electronic Army claims to have hacked United States Central Command (CENTCOM) servers
Courtesy Syrian Electronic Army
Though the US Military and representatives of CENTCOM have rubbished the Syrian Electronic Army’s claims that they breached  CENTCOM servers, SEA has since been making Tweets about this being a ongoing mission in reply to the claims by CENTCOM in a post Tampa Tribune. The SEA said that this was a ongoing operation and they will leak all the documents they have managed to hack when the operation is over.

We didn’t publish everything we have and the operation is still on-going so don’t assume you what don’t yet know #SEA
— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) March 14, 2014

The Syrian Electronic Army were planning on ambushing the CENTCOM servers since a long time.  In a communication with Techworm and a tweet on 28th February, the SEA had insisted on Twitter

The next attack will prove that the entire US command structure was a house of cards from the start. #SEA #CENTCOM
— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) February 28, 2014

After almost 15 days, SEA finally managed to breach the CENTCOM servers and post images of the website which show that they have gained access to the all important Army Knowledge Online (AKO) servers.  It is can also be assumed from the images that they have obtained information related to Department of Defense organizations, particularly Air Force operations.

This is part of an on-going operation and we have already successfully penetrated many central repositories. #SEA
— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) March 14, 2014

Earlier the representatives of CENTCOM have told The Tampa Tribune that the hackers claims are “totally bogus.”  But Bob  Gourley, a former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and founder of Crucial Point LLC, has told The Tampa Tribune that the files shown in the screenshot published by the hacktivists appear to contain unclassified information.   Gourley added that if SEA’s claims were indeed true, then it appears that SEA may have breached unclassified servers, not SIPRNet, the network that is used by the Department of Defence and the Department of State to transmit classified information. 

To put the hacking in a perspective, United States Central Command (CENTCOM) also called (USCENTCOM) is a theatre-level Unified Combatant Command of the U.S. Department of Defence, established in 1983. It was originally conceived of as the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF).  Its area of responsibility includes countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia.  The CENTCOM is a command apparatus for the US Military in the Middle East and has been at the forefront of all organisations  backing the anti Assad, pro independence rebels who are fighting the Assad government through a interim government based in an undisclosed location somewhere on the Turko-Syrian border.

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