A Michigan woman is one of five wives of U.S. military members who were threatened in 2015 by Russian hackers posing as Islamic State agents.
The Associated Press reports the women were targeted by the same Russian hacking group that that intervened in the American election and exposed the emails of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta.
Liz Snell, the wife of a U.S. Marine was one of the women who received messages threatening her, her charity and others involved with the charity. The Michigan native was out of town when she was made aware of the threats.
She flew home with her family and stayed at a hotel for two nights until thing blew over.
“Any time somebody threatens your family, Mama Bear comes out,” Snell said.
Colorado resident and Army wife Angela Ricketts was at home when she received a message that shook her and is similar to the ones other military wives received.
“Dear Angela!” the Facebook message read. “Bloody Valentine’s Day!”
“We know everything about you, your husband and your children,” the message continued, claiming that the hackers operating under the flag of Islamic State militants had penetrated her computer and her phone. “We’re much closer than you can even imagine.”
The AP used a digital hit list to determine the women were targeted by the same group that launched campaigns against the U.S. elections, journalists, defense contractors and more.
The threats made national headlines as people worried the Islamic State was able to target specific people and reach you through email or your cell phone. Ricketts says the ploy worked, but she never thought the Russians were behind it.
“Not only did we play right into their hands by freaking out, but the media played right into it,” Ricketts said. “We reacted in a way that was probably exactly what they were hoping for.”
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