New finding puts individual families in the cross-hairs in a terrifying way.
The Russian hacking scandal is far from being understood or solved, at least as it pertains to the last US presidential election. Further hacking occurs almost daily, with different Russian operations–some the work of rogue groups and others reportedly being state-sponsored–bearing the blame.
Some of the accusations point to hacking activity and the spread of fake news in order to sew discord among US citizens. The recent news that more than 3,000 ads had been released demonstrated that many of the phony posts were developed in order to spread false narratives (on both sides) about racial tensions, police brutality, and other hot-button issues.
A new finding, though, puts individual families in the cross hairs in a terrifying way. After several military spouses were interviewed in the same CNN report, a group originally believed to be from the Middle East sent the spouses alarming messages, some that threatened their families and alluded to deadly attacks on their service members. The group, CyberCaliphate, has also been blamed for a number of other higher profile incidents, namely the takedown of a French TV station.
But the discovery that this group is actually Russian has left some cybersecurity experts scratching their heads. What’s to be gained by terrorizing US citizens while pretending to be part of a Middle Eastern cell? Based on the earlier achieved goal of creating an air of mistrust, especially the Western view of radical Islamic extremists, these kinds of personal attacks make the preconceived ideas in many Americans’ minds seem all the more plausible and less outrageous.
At the time, there doesn’t seem to be much “cure” for the current state of mind control that comes through as fake news, social media hoaxes, and hacking. The first step in the process, though, will be transparency on the part of the platforms that have made this activity possible, such as social media mainstays.