ISIS 'Cyber Caliphate' attack on military spouses turns out to be Russians

February 10, 2015… the Facebook message got straight to the point:

“Dear Angela – Bloody Valentine's Day! In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, under the flag of the Islamic State, CyberCaliphate continues its Cyber Jihad. While your president and your husband are killing our brothers in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, we're coming for you. You think you're safe but the IS is already here, CyberCaliphate got into your PC and smartphone. We know everything about you, your husband and your children. We're much closer than you can even imagine."

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That was the message received by Army wife Angela Ricketts. She didn't know it yet, but she was part of a small group of military spouses who received death threats from the 'Cyber Caliphate' on the same day.

Also that day, the Cyber Caliphate hacked the Twitter account of a charity called Military Spouses of Strength, run by the wife of a U.S. Marine named Liz Snell. The hackers started tweeting threats to Snell, her family, other military spouses and even Michelle Obama.

It was pretty unnerving for those families at the time. And a lot of media coverage ensued about the cyber war capabilities of ISIS.

Now it turns out it wasn't ISIS at all. The Associated Press reported yesterday that the 'Cyber Caliphate' is actually a group you may recall from other similar hacking games, that goes by the name 'Fancy Bear.' That's right, it was the same Russian government-sponsored hacking group that stole emails from John Podesta and the DNC and meddled in the election.

Somewhere, in a dingy basement in Russia, some nerdy hackers are laughing their butts off.

Why did Russian hackers target American military spouses? No one knows yet for sure (or if they do, they're not talking). Angela Ricketts' theory is that perhaps it was a test run, just to see where they could create the most chaos. She said, “Not only did we play right into their hands by freaking out, but the media played right into it. We reacted in a way that was probably exactly what they were hoping for."

You could say the same thing about our reaction to the 2016 presidential election and the never-ending drama that has played out since – it was exactly what they were hoping for.

Somewhere, in a dingy basement in Russia, some nerdy hackers are laughing their butts off.

This article originally appeared on Glenn Beck

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