Hacked: Israel Defense Forces’ Twitter Account Causes False Nuclear Scare, Sends Pro-Palestine Tweet

The Twitter account for the Israel Defense Forces was hacked Thursday (July 3) and sent messages that were in some cases startling and in other cases uncharacteristic of the Middle Eastern nation. It did not take long before the nation’s military admitted that the account had been hacked.

According to CNET, the tweets sent to the account’s more than 251,000 followers touched on a wide variety of topics.

“It appears the tweets in question, which have now been deleted, referenced a hazardous leak at Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility and an homage to Palestine,” reporter Dara Kerr said.

While it did not take long for the Israeli military to get control of its Twitter account back from the hackers, the tweets still received several retweets from people who may have assumed the nuclear threat was real. A screenshot of one of the deleted tweets shows as many as 106 retweets. According to The Telegraph in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the tweet likely reached many more than the 106 who retweeted it in the screen shot below.

“As expected, the post went viral on Twitter.

“But it was soon deleted from the account.”

A screenshot of one of the deleted Tweets that briefly appeared on the Israeli Defense Forces' Twitter account earlier Thursday (July 3).
A screenshot of one of the deleted Tweets that briefly appeared on the Israeli Defense Forces’ Twitter account earlier Thursday (July 3).

Mediaite reports that a pro-Palestine tweet was also sent that said, ‘Long live #Palestine.”

Suspicion for the hack of the account, the media website reported, laid squarely with the Syrian Electronic Army, a group that is well known for other attacks on large, well-followed Twitter accounts.

“The Syrian Electronic Army has infamously attempted high-profile hacks before; targeting E!, The New York Times, the Marine website, President Obama’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and CNN’s Twitter account.”

CNET reported that the group had hacked other media websites, including CBS News and The Associated Press, in the past.

As for Israel, its defense ministry sent the following tweet apologizing for the attack:

While the hack did get its 15 minutes of fame Thursday, it is doubtful it will live on in infamy like the Twitter hack experienced by Burger King last year. The Inquisitr reported that not only was the account plastered with McDonald’s logos, but it was also filled with a healthy serving of crude humor.

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]