NORAD, the agency that tracks missile threats to the US and Canada, just sent out a tweet welcoming the US Cyber Command to the big leagues. The US Cyber Command was elevated to a combatant command today, the country’s 10th, after previously working under the US Strategic Command since 2009.
But we have just one question: What the hell is going on with the US Cyber Command’s Twitter account? Here’s the tweet that NORAD sent out congratulating the command:
If you click on @USCommandCyber, you’re taken to an account that looks legit—until you scroll down to its old tweets. The oldest tweet comes from November 23th, 2016 and has a strange syntax and punctuation.
Or take this tweet, sent that same day:
And here’s another strange tweet, which roughly translates to “liiiiies continued the same shit” in English:
Then November 24, 2016 included this gem...
...along with whatever this means:
The most obvious answer would be that US Cyber Command was able to take control of an old handle created by someone outside of the military through Twitter’s help. But if that’s the case, why did they take “@USCommandCyber” instead of the more logical “@USCyberCommand”? @USCyberCommand, it should be noted, is not affiliated with the military and describes itself in its bio as a “fan of U.S. Cyber Command.” It all seems just too weird.
Gizmodo has reached out to US Cyber Command to see what the hell is going on. Did they buy an old Twitter handle? Or is “Today is bigger black Friday” supposed to mean something?
Update, May 7, 2018, 8:51am: Chief of Public Affairs at U.S. Cyber Command has responded to Gizmodo’s questions by explaining that @USCommandCyber is not an official government account.
Daniel J. W. King told Gizmodo that with the, “elevation of our command to Unified Combatant Command status, we will be activating both a new website and a number of social media identities very shortly.”
It appears NORAD simply linked to the wrong account.