Intelligence: The Facebook Fake Out

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March 19, 2012: For the second time in two years a number of senior NATO officials had fake Facebook pages created in their names. This led to friends or associates sending information, sometimes sensitive stuff, to the fake page. This is an ideal situation for anyone seeking to collect information from NATO leaders and is a variation of the "Honey Pot" technique of using a false identity to attract useful information. As happened two years ago, Facebook took down the offending pages once they were aware of the situation. It appears that those who set up these false Facebook pages were from China.

The problem with most social networking sites is that anyone can set up a site using any name and identity. It's up to those harmed by identity fraud to take action. Commercial security firms see this as an opportunity to provide services (usually via software) that monitor social networking sites and the Internet in general, for instances of false identity activity. The most vulnerable to these deceptions are mid-level officials who are not household names and thus false representation of them on the Internet can deceive a large number of people before it is discovered.

 


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