Fake Facebook Profile To Collect Details on UK Officials

Admiral James G. Stavridis, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, is someone many officials would want to be friends with, if not in person at least on Facebook. This is exactly the thing some spies counted on when they used a fake Facebook account of Stavridis to gather intel on UK Ministry of Defence officials and military officers.
 According to The Telegraph, NATO officials refrained from pointing the finger, but other sources revealed that China might be behind the fake Facebook profile.

Fortunately, the incident isn’t such a threat to national security as it is shameful for those who offered on a platter their names, birth dates, email addresses, home addresses, pictures, phone numbers and daily routines.

This particular incident was uncovered at the end of 2011 when Facebook was requested to remove the fake profile, but apparently this situation isn’t isolated.

“There have been several fake supreme allied commander pages. Facebook has cooperated in taking them down. We are not aware that they are Chinese. The most important thing is for Facebook to get rid of them. First and foremost we want to make sure that the public is not being misinformed,” a NATO official said.

While some deny China’s implication, others say that the profile’s owners have been successfully traced back to the Asian country.

Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) representatives highlighted the fact that this was just social engineering and not hacking or espionage.

However, the type of information found on an individual’s social media profile can be put to good use to make a detailed profile of a mark which can later be leveraged for espionage and blackmail.

Regular users befriend unknown people of social media sites each day, in most cases based on the “mutual friends” factor. While these individuals expose themselves to scams and other malicious operations that pose a risk only to a certain limit, when state officials are involved the stakes are much higher.

Source: Softpedia


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