The Taliban has been using fake Facebook profiles to spy on Australian troops.
The tech-savvy Taliban is creating fake Facebook profiles using pictures of attractive women. They're then using these fake profiles to befriend Australian soldiers, and are gathering information based on those soldiers' Facebook updates. A big problem, of course, is Facebook's geo-tagging function, which logs the location from which posts or photos are uploaded. If a soldier posts something to Facebook while they're in the field, this pretty much gives away their location.
Three Australian soldiers who had been posting on Facebook were murdered inside their base, allegedly by an Afghan Army trainee.
Many soldiers do not realize that people using fake profiles can capture information and movements.
In a survey of 1577 Australian Department of Defense members on their social media practices and knowledge (or lack thereof) of associated risks. Fifty-eight percent of Defense staff reportedly had no social media training. The Australian Department of Defense is working on new social media guidelines.
By-the-way: -It's not just the Taliban...
You may not be a member of the Australian military, but that doesn't mean you should go around friending just anybody on Facebook. Fake Facebook friends and profiles have been around since the beginning of Facebook, and may be anyone from federal agents to spies to companies looking for business.
The obvious advice is that you shouldn't add anyone on Facebook unless you know them in real life -- hot girl or not.
- Add as little personal information as possible to your profile. Needless to say, your address, phone number, and date of birth (at the very least, birth year) should not be publicly available or even available to "friends only" on your profile.
- Understand how social engineers can use different pieces of information on the Internet to gather intel about you. For example, if you put your birth day and month on your Facebook profile, and you put your high school graduation year on your LinkedIn profile, a savvy social engineer will be able to put two and two together. Therefore, limit personal information as much as possible.
- If you're on vacation (or in a secret military location), don't post about it until after you get back (or to a safe, non-secret military location). Posting pictures and updates while you're thousands of miles away from your home advertises that you're...thousands of miles away from your home.
- Be careful about what your photos say. Many Smartphone’s automatically geo-tag photos, so it's a good idea to turn this off, if possible. To turn off geo-tagging on an iPhone, go to Settings > Location Services > Camera, and turn the Location Services "Off" for the camera. To turn of geo-tagging on an Android phone, open up your camera, go to Camera settings > Store location, and make sure this is turned "Off."
Live Long and Prosper...