How Many ISIS Threats Will it Take?


It's now happening monthly. In January CENTCOM's twitter account was hacked. In February I and a handful of other military spouses received tailor-made threats via Twitter. And late last week the photos, names and apparent physical home addresses of about 100 service members were published by a group claiming an affiliation with ISIS.

"With the huge amount of information that we have from various different servers and databases, we have decided to leak 100 addresses so that our brothers residing in America can deal with you," the posting said.

While the group claimed to have gotten at least some of the information from hacking DoD databases, officials that is not the case, according to this New York Times story. They said that "most of the information could be found in public records, residential address search sites and social media," the story said.

Are you scared yet?

Last month I was targeted by a Facebook and twitter hack by a group calling them the "Cyber Caliphate," which they claimed is part of "IS."  They said they hacked my computer and phone. They called me their "bloody valentine." I was shaken but inspired to keep living my life.

And while I still have no intention of living in fear or changing my habits, it did serve as a reminder to be cautious about the way I expose my family as part of my public life. Thanks to my job, my name, information and general location are out there. There's nothing I can do about that.

But I can live with a renewed sense of caution. I can protect my children and myself from unwanted visitors by doing simple things like not geo-tagging photos, checking in at locations we frequent, or posting anywhere specific information about what schools my kids attend.

The folks who posted these name and addresses referenced the "huge amount of information" they have. And they are probably right -- it IS huge. To come up with this kind of thing would take combing through tons and tons of data. But I Imagine potential terrorists are the kind of folks with a lot of time on their hands.

Yet even though this sort of collection would be time consuming, it probably isn't particularly hard. The information is out there for the gathering -- you just have to know where to look. These 100 service members targeted on this new list may not have been doing any of the things that they have been warned about in the past. They may not be actually posting their physical addresses with a #justforISIS tag.

Perhaps they are just home owners with a handful of social media accounts that identify them by name, service and a general town. It wouldn't be hard to search property records and come up with what you could easily assume is their physical address.

The whole point of terrorism is that it scares you into submission. It's psychological warfare more than anything else (at least at this point on the home front).

So the question is -- how many ISIS threats will it take before we break?

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