One Man & His Blog

Chinese intelligence services using fake social media profiles to gather data

Chinese intelligence services using fake social media profiles to gather data

Reuters:

Germany’s intelligence service has published the details of social network profiles which it says are fronts faked by Chinese intelligence to gather personal information about German officials and politicians.

I think it’s fair to say that social networks have become a major front in covert cyberwar between governments. And you can see why:

“Chinese intelligence services are active on networks like LinkedIn and have been trying for a while to extract information and find intelligence sources in this way,” including seeking data on users’ habits, hobbies and political interests, [Germany’s intelligence service] said.

The digital shadows of ourselves we create online are more valuable than we realise. Intelligence data that would have required months of work by field operatives in the past can be gathered in days or hours online.

Two things:

  1. Remember the people who sneered at social media because it was about “what you had for lunch”? Underestimating a new tech is a profoundly dangerous thing to do.
  2. Anyone who adds anybody who makes a connection request on social media, including LinkedIn “because it builds influence” is a Category A Idiot.

Written by

Adam Tinworth   Adam Tinworth

Adam has been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 25. He currently works as a consultant and trainer, helping people do better, more engaged online journalism.


Comments

Sign up or Sign in to join the conversation.