Senior NATO Commander Victim of Facebook Espionage

Al Arabiya12.03.2012 North America
Senior NATO Commander Victim of Facebook Espionage

Senior NATO Commander Victim of Facebook Espionage

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A senior NATO Commander fell victim to “Chinese spies” who attempted to fake a Facebook account in his name to gain personal information, the Sunday Telegraph reported on Sunday.

A bogus account for U.S. Admiral James Stavridis resulted in several British Military Officers and Defense Officials accepting “friend requests” from the fake Stavridis account.

According to the Telegraph, in classified NATO briefings “Military Officers and Diplomats were told the evidence pointed to ‘state-sponsored individuals in China”.

But NATO Officials were reluctant to publicly confirm who was behind the attack.

“Fears center on the espionage operation of Chinese intelligence agencies - which are targeting not just military secrets but every aspect of Western life,” the newspaper reported.

“Among the items stolen are said to be the secrets of stealth aircraft, submarine technology, the space program and solar energy,” it added.

“After the profile was reported to us, it was taken down as soon as we were notified and investigated the issue,” a spokesman for Facebook told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, Officials at the Supreme Headquarters of Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) confirmed that its Commander had been targeted but said the information that was shared on Facebook would have been unclassified.

“This type of compromising attempts is called “Social Engineering” and has nothing to do with “hacking” or “espionage,” the spokesman at SHAPE told the Telegraph.

“Discussions/chats/postings on Facebook are of course only about unclassified topics,” the spokesman said.

“There have been several fake supreme allied Commander pages. Facebook has cooperated in taking them down. We are not aware that they are Chinese,” a NATO official added.

“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. Social media played a crucial role in the Libya campaign last year.”

“It reflected the groundswell of public opposition, but also we received a huge amount of information from social media in terms of locating Libyan regime forces. It was a real eye-opener. That is why it is important the public has trust in our social media.”


Source: Al Arabiya; Sunday Telegraph



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