PARIS (AP) — The Associated Press has found that Russian hackers masqueraded as Islamic State supporters to threaten outspoken wives of U.S. military personnel.
In 2015 five women received death threats from a mysterious hacking gang calling itself CyberCaliphate. They were separately targeted for surveillance by the real harassers: the Russian cyberespionage organization known as Fancy Bear.
That’s 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 brazen 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 off investigators. The operation’s attempt to hype the threat of radical Islam also presaged the inflammatory messages pushed by internet trolls during the U.S. presidential campaign.