False Flag Alert: Investigation Uncovers Whose Really Behind “ISIS’ Threats To Military Wives
In some cases, the truth really is worse than the lie. That’s what a small group of military wives discovered after an investigation uncovered the threats from ‘ISIS’ they had been receiving were not really from the Islamic based terrorist group.
So, who’s really behind this latest cyber attack? The results will infuriate you.
Army wife Angela Ricketts was soaking in a bubble bath in her Colorado home, leafing through a memoir, when a message appeared on her iPhone:
“Dear Angela!” it said. “Bloody Valentine’s Day!”
“We know everything about you, your husband and your children,” the Facebook message continued, claiming that the hackers operating under the flag of Islamic State (ISIS) militants had penetrated her computer and her phone. “We’re much closer than you can even imagine.”
Ricketts was one of five military wives who received death threats from the self-styled CyberCaliphate on the morning of Feb. 10, 2015. The warnings led to days of anguished media coverage of ISIS militants’ online reach.
Except it wasn’t ISIS.
The Associated Press has found evidence that the women were targeted not by jihadists but by the same Russian hacking group that intervened in the American election and exposed the emails of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta.
The false flag is a case study in the difficulty of assigning blame in a world where hackers routinely borrow one another’s identities to throw investigators off track. The operation also parallels the online disinformation campaign by Russian trolls in the months leading up to the U.S. election in 2016.
Links between CyberCaliphate and the Russian hackers — typically nicknamed Fancy Bear or APT28 — have been documented previously. On both sides of the Atlantic, the consensus is that the two groups are closely related.