A report from the Australian government says that Aussie troops have unknowingly befriended insurgents who have created false Facebook accounts, posing as attractive women, which leads to an uncomfortable question: How many American troops, befriending strangers on Facebook, could be doing the same thing?
“The Taliban have used pictures of attractive women as the front of their Facebook profiles and have befriended soldiers,” the March review warned, according to the Australian Website News.com.au.
The U.S. Army learned about insurgents’ social media tactics the hard way in 2007, when soldiers in Iraq uploaded photos of Apache gunship helicopters — photos that included embedded GPS data. “The enemy was able to determine the exact location of the helicopters inside the compound and conduct a mortar attack, destroying four of the AH-64 Apaches,” the Army admitted this year.
“Many individuals who use social media are extremely trusting,” the Australian report concluded. Soldiers approve friend requests from strangers, “overtly” relying on the privacy settings to protect them. The settings, which do not remove all useful data and in any event can change unannounced, create “a false sense of security,” the report stated.
Head over to Wired for the rest of the story, and a link to the Australian report.