One of the largest U.S. Army bases is dealing with the aftermath of a rather embarrassing incident. The official Twitter account for Fort Bragg, located in North Carolina, began exhibiting out-of-character behavior. Numerous sexually explicit messages and images were sent out before the base was able to regain control of the account. As of now, the @FtBraggNC appears to be deleted, most likely as a security measure post-incident.
As reported by the local news site The Fayetteville Observer, the Fort Bragg brass has given an official statement on the Twitter incident. The statement was given by Tom McCollum, official spokesman for the Army base:
We’ve deleted those images, reset our password and reset the two-cycle authentication process... We apologize to anyone who follows us on Twitter and don’t know how this happened.
Additionally, the 18th Airborne Corps’ spokesman made his own statement. This is important as the 18th Airborne Corps’ commander is also in charge of Fort Bragg. The statement, quoted below, was made by Col. Joe Buccino:
There’s always a danger of operating in digital space and this was an embarrassing incident, and we took action... The tweets were down within 35 minutes. We took action once it was pointed out to us.
After a short investigation, it was uncovered that a civilian contractor with access to the Fort Bragg Twitter account was the culprit. They mistakenly stayed logged in, and under the assumption they were on a private account, began communicating with a “performer” from social media platform OnlyFans, which features a lot of sexually-explicit content. Once again, Col. Buccino made a statement to reflect the new information:
This morning, at the initiation of an investigation into yesterday’s incident regarding inappropriate tweets on the Fort Bragg Twitter account, an administrator for the account identified himself as the source of the tweet.
If anything, this Twitter account incident illustrates numerous flaws in Fort Bragg’s cybersecurity policy. While this was not a hacking incident, the fact that a civilian contractor caused this much drama shows that the base may need to reconsider who has admin access to accounts.
Featured image: Wikimedia