Hackers changed the British Army’s Twitter account name a number of times with images including a cartoon monkey used as profile pictures. Posts and retweets from the account urged the British Army’s 362,500 Twitter followers to take part in competitions with the randomly selected winners receiving non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
An NFT is a digital asset which exists on a blockchain – a record of transactions kept on networked computers.
The blockchain acts as a public ledger which allows anyone to verify the NFT’s authenticity and confirm who owns it.
The British Army’s YouTube channel, which has 177,000 subscribers, was also compromised with its name replaced with Ark Invest.
It promoted several live videos claiming to show an interview about cryptocurrency with Tesla founder Elon Musk.
As yet it is not known who was behind the embarrassing breach, which raises questions about security for the armed forces.
An Army spokesperson said: “We are aware of a breach of the Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts and an investigation is underway.
“We take information security extremely seriously and are resolving the issue.
“Until the investigation is complete it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
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Some attributed the surge in popularity to lockdowns forcing people to spend more time at home online.
The British Army breach comes two days after the force launched a new recruitment drive featuring robots.
The campaign called Nothing Can Do What A Soldier Can Do contains the message that while new technologies are being used by troops in battle, the future of UK defence will be underpinned by soldiers.
A one-minute video advert, to be shown in cinemas, on television and online, shows a dystopian future where a robotic soldier scouts the terrain of a conflict zone. It is made of more than 4,000 individual CGI elements and 2,000 sound design samples.
The ending shows while technology is important, only soldiers can make instinctive decisions on the ground in a conflict zone.
As part of the drive, striking images of soldiers and robots will be displayed on billboards.
The campaign is the sixth iteration of the “This is Belonging” series developed by Accenture Song together with Capita and the British Army.
Colonel Nick Mackenzie, assistant director of recruiting, said: “Like previous recruitment campaigns, Nothing Can Do What A Soldier Can Do aims to dispel one of the many myths that surround the British Army.
“This time, looking at the British Army of the future and the role of soldiers within it.
“We want to tell future recruits that, no matter what technological advancements we make, it is the judgment, intelligence and even the wit of our soldiers that is indispensable to the future of the Army.
“We hope the campaign will lead to potential applicants seeing the Army as an exciting place they can learn and grow, and be valued as an integral part in our future.”