Unmasked

Report: Russians Posed as ISIS Hackers, Threatened U.S. Military Wives

One of the Russian hacking groups that meddled in the 2016 presidential election posed as ISIS hackers and threatened U.S. military wives, according to an investigation by the Associated Press. Five military wives received death threats supposedly from the ISIS-linked CyberCaliphate group in February 2015, leading to media coverage talking up the terror group’s online reach. But new evidence suggests it was actually carried out by the same Russian hacker collective—known as Fancy Bear or APT28—that is believed to have exposed the emails of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta. Proof that the military wives were targeted by Russian hackers is laid out in a digital hit list provided to the Associated Press by a cybersecurity company last year. One of the women who received the threat, Angela Ricketts, said: “Never in a million years did I think that it was the Russians.” She added: “Not only did we play right into their hands by freaking out, but the media played right into it.”