No, those weren't the nuclear launch codes.
On Monday, the US Strategic Command — that's the agency that controls the military's nukes — tweeted a bizarre string of characters that left the internet confused and perhaps mildly concerned.
Not that there's anything wrong with occasionally firing up Twitter and broadcasting ";l;;gmlxzssaw" to the world, of course. But Stratcom helps oversee and manage the country's nuclear arsenal. So any glitch or potential hack, no matter how small, justifies a raised eyebrow. Thankfully, it turns out that nothing sinister happened and the since-deleted tweet stemmed from regular old nonsense — though the incident reveals a stunning lack of judgment and security within a high-profile military agency.
The Strategic Command quickly apologized for the tweet but didn't specify what was going on. So the Daily Dot filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to access the agency's records regarding the tweet.
What they found was that the person behind that Twitter account left the window open and their young child saw an opportunity for mayhem. No hidden codes, no government hack — just a kid running their hands across the keyboard and pressing the post button.
In the Strategic Command's formal response to the Daily Dot, FOIA manager Kendall Cooper very specifically noted that the tweet wasn't linked to any hack, perhaps because any misconceptions about what happened would probably be more troubling than admitting to the tweet's particularly-silly backstory.
"Absolutely nothing nefarious occurred," reads the response, "i.e., no hacking of our Twitter account. The post was discovered and notice to delete it occurred telephonically."
READ MORE: The agency that controls U.S. nukes had its Twitter account accessed by a child [The Daily Dot]
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