How Foreign Spies Recruit People on Social Media

Social Spies Featured

Recently, the FBI sent out a warning about how much information you reveal on your social media profile. While it’s never a good idea to indulge your followers with too much personal information, this specific warning was targeted at government workers. As it turns out, revealing that you work for your country’s government can lead to being targeted by spies!

How Spies Utilize Social Media

The FBI warning stated that anyone who publicly identified themselves as a government official was at risk of being contacted by foreign spies. The spies would use social media’s messaging services to get in contact with people working for their target country. They could then use this channel to recruit people from the inside and glean information.

Social Spies Scammer

“FIS and US adversary intelligence officers are using popular US-based social media platforms to identify, recruit, and conduct operations against USG clearance holders, to include private sector employees or contractors supporting the USG,” says the FBI in their warning.

“FIS officers will use popular US-based platforms and their respective countries’ social media platforms for personal and intelligence gathering/operations purposes.”

What Does this Mean for the Future?

As social media becomes more a part of our lives, it’s only natural that we share information on it. Unfortunately, some people go a little too far with the information they indulge, which opens them up to problems. Sharing travel plans opens the door to burglars to invade an empty home, while giving up too much personal information invites scammers to perform identity theft.

Social Spies Apps

This alert shows that social media attacks have gone one step up from petty crime. People in sensitive jobs can now be sought after and targeted by people with ulterior motives. No longer are spies creeping in the shadows and using shady tactics to get to their targets; sometimes it’s as simple as finding a social media profile and sending a direct message.

How to Avoid this Problem

If you work in a job that handles sensitive information, be careful what you share. It’s a good idea not to make your job title public on your social media. Doing so puts up a flag for people interested in hunting down and contacting employees in your specific area.

Social Spies Security

This advice spans across many different areas of your life. For instance, be careful with your home address. Leaking that information can lead to issues such as identity theft and burglary. This information can slip out accidentally, such as a geotag on a home photo. In short, it’s always a good idea to ensure you’re not leaking information about your daily life on social media, else someone uses that data for themselves!

Who’s Following You on Social Media?

Social media has always had a stalker problem, but the recent warning by the FBI has shown how serious this issue can be. Governmental workers have to be extra careful not to reveal their job titles, as it may open them up to foreign spies trying to recruit people overseas.

Do you think social media will become a key element for future espionage? Let us know below.

Simon Batt Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.

One comment

  1. “How Foreign Spies Recruit People on Social Media”
    I was expecting some real info and instead got the same old yada, yada, yada. Change the word “spies” to “hackers” and this the same warnings we’ve been hearing for years.

    Exactly HOW are the spies recruiting people? Are they blackmailing them? Are they doing it at the point of a gun? It would have been nice of FBI to tell the people. In fact, it would have been an important public service, in the same way that they inform Americans about the scams being perpetrated. Otherwise it is a Chicken Little-type warning.

    For years it has been a fact that many people on social media have diarrhea of the mouth. They reveal online things that they would never tell their friends and family in person. Whether it is to brag or seek approval or make themselves look better, they spew out information like a fire hose. Apparently these blabbermouths never heard of the WWII slogan “Loose lips sink ships”.

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