In the good ol’ days of spy vs spy, the honeypot was a tried and true espionage technique, laced with danger, intrigue and sex. The Taliban is reportedly using this tactic against Australian troops, who have been warned about fake profiles and geotagging.
As news.com.au reports, a recent survey has highlighted the unhealthy intermingling of social media and military forces. Soldiers are falling victim to the oldest trick in the Facebook: someone pretending to be an attractive, flirtatious girl when they’re actually enemies of the state in disguise:
The review warns troops to beware of “fake profiles – media personnel and enemies create fake profiles to gather information. For example, the Taliban have used pictures of attractive women as the front of their Facebook profiles and have befriended soldiers.”
The problem lies in the fact that soldiers can post status updates that include seemingly innocuous information that gives away locations, statuses and other sensitive details that could get people killed.
The report goes on to say that soldiers have been too trusting of Facebook’s default privacy settings, something which we’ve all fallen victim to at some point. It’s just that the stakes for us aren’t anywhere near as high. So what’s the solution? Some are arguing that troops shouldn’t be allowed to use social media, while others insist on stricter guidelines and enforcement. Let’s hope the latter proves effective. It’s hard enough serving your country in a far-flung land without feeling even more cut off from the world than geography dictates. [news.com.au via Danger Room]