Defense officials confirm the official public Army website has been hacked by unknown intruders demanding the U.S. stop training rebel fighters inside Syria.
Unlike the massive hack into Office of Personnel Management records, the officials stress the website contains no official classified information or private personal data of any Amy personnel, military or civilian.
The messages reportedly proclaimed “YOU’VE BEEN HACKED” and added “YOUR COMMANDERS ADMIT THEY ARE TRAINING THE PEOPLE THEY HAVE SENT YOU TO DIE FIGHTING.”
It’s not clear yet whether the Army or the hackers shut down the website.
"Today an element of the Army.mil service provider's content was compromised," Army Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost, chief of public affairs, said on the website hacking. "After this came to our attention, the Army took appropriate preventive measures to ensure there was no breach of Army data by taking down the website temporarily."
The officials say the website is for general public access with general information about the Army, press releases and Army generated news stories.
The news comes less than a week after Obama administration officials announced that four million federal workers may have had their personal information compromised in a cyber attack, which officials said could affect every agency of the U.S. government.
Starting today, approximately four million current and former government employees will be notified that their personal information — including names, Social Security numbers and birth dates — might have been hacked.
The compromised data was stored in a system shared by the Interior Department and the Office of Personnel Management, which screens and hires federal workers and approves security clearances for 90 percent of the federal government.
The FBI is leading the investigation into the breach, which happened in December and was discovered in April using new tools.
On Friday, the White House said the threat of cyber attacks is persistent and while the federal government has raced to outpace would-be hackers, legislation aimed at shoring up cybersecurity is desperately needed to do more. Those proposals included measures that would improve information sharing between the private sector and federal investigators, require companies to give 30 day notice of a security breach, increase punishments for cyber crimes and create uniform standards of data breach notification laws.
"Since the president submitted those pieces of legislation in January we've seen very little action," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Friday. "We need the United States Congress to come out of the Dark Ages and join us in the 21st century."
The House passed a measure earlier this year, which the White House supports, pushing companies to share data records with federal investigators. The Senate Intelligence Committee had previously approved a similar measure, but the full Senate has not yet voted on the legislation.
Opponents to the measure cite privacy concerns and worries about government overreach.