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Monday, 10 September 2012 08:57

Taliban enlists Facebook to gather intelligence

Written by Peter Scott

Horny soldiers, hot girls, what could possibly go wrong?

Afghan insurgents have come up with a novel way of gathering intelligence, bringing the old “honey trap” approach into the 21st century.

Granted it sounds a bit strange, but a deeply religious and conservative movement stuck in the 7th century is apparently using fake Facebook accounts and posing as attractive women to befriend coalition soldiers in Afghanistan. Australian soldiers are now being given pre-deployment briefings about various cyber security threats, ranging from geo-tagging to fake Facebook profiles.

A government review conducted in March warned troops to be on the lookout for fake profiles, used by the enemy and event the press.

“The Taliban have used pictures of attractive women as the front of their Facebook profiles and have befriended soldiers," the review found. "Most did not recognise that people using fake profiles, perhaps masquerading as school friends, could capture information and movements. Few consider the possibilities of data mining and how patterns of behaviour can be identified over time."

There are also indirect risks, as families of troops in the field can spill the beans on their deployment online. The review concluded that many individuals are “extremely trusting” of social media and that they should be better educated about potential risks.

Some troops have even argued for a total social media blackout.

More here.

Peter Scott

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