Chinese intelligence was spying on NATO via facebook

Facebook is proving to be a goldmine for intelligence agencies — and not just ones that Zuckerberg is openly collaborating with. Just recently, a fake profile was created by Chinese hackers (or, more likely, intelligence agents) claiming to be that of US Navy Admiral James Stavridis, NATOs Supreme Allied Commander.

They were able to trick numerous government workers, military offiders, and British Defense Ministry officials into becoming Facebook friends with the fake Stavridis. This allowed the hackers/agents to learn a great deal of personal information about Stavridis’s co-workers, including much about their loved ones that could conceivably lead to threats or blackmail-like pressure in a crisis.

Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) officials confirmed their commander had been targeted. “This type of compromising attempts are called ‘Social Engineering’ and has nothing to do with ‘hacking’ or ‘espionage.

Facebook says its very difficult to prevent such fake accounts from being created or even detected, although it shuts them down when they are discovered. The company admits that some 42 to 51 million Facebook accounts are fake, out of 483 million daily users. Its very unlikely that intelligence agency hijinx on facebook are going to stop anytime soon.

“There have been several fake supreme allied commander pages,” a NATO spokesperson said in a statement.

 

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