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Albuquerque newspaper Twitter account compromised by Islamic State sympathizer

A screen capture shows the Twitter account of the Albuquerque Journal after it was compromised on January 6. [Photo: The Desk]
A screen capture shows the Twitter account of the Albuquerque Journal after it was compromised on January 6. [Photo: The Desk]
A social media profile used by a New Mexico newspaper was compromised on Tuesday by an individual or group sympathetic to the Islamic State militia.

The avatar and header image on the Albuquerque Journal’s Twitter profile were replaced with pro-Islamic State graphics Tuesday afternoon.

The person or group running the account published what it purported to be sensitive information compromised from other computers, including federal law enforcement bulletins sourced to a Tennessee-based intelligence fusion center and a program that appeared to show driver’s license information for New Mexico residents.

The Desk reported the compromise to officials at Twitter and withheld a report on the incident until the account was restored.

A similar attack targeted the Twitter account of Maryland television station WBOC-TV. The station said in a post on its website that it alerted local law enforcement after it became aware of the incident. Local police later contacted the FBI.

In messages posted on the website PasteBin, the group responsible for the compromises said residents of New Mexico and Tennessee were specifically targeted because of U.S.-led campaigns against Islamic State targets overseas. The notes contained links to several dozen documents reportedly taken from compromised computers.

FBI officials say they are investigating the matter.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience covering the business of television and radio broadcasting, streaming services and the overall media industry. In addition to his work as publisher of The Desk, Matthew contributes regularly to StreamTV Insider and KnowTechie, and has worked for several well-known news organizations, including Thomson Reuters, McNaughton Newspapers, Grasswire, Comstock's magazine, KTXL-TV and KGO-TV. Matthew is a member of IRE, a trade organization for investigative reporters and editors, and is based in Northern California.

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