James Stavridis is a United States Navy admiral. Last year a lot of high-ranked British military officers and Defense Ministry officials became his friend on Facebook. The only problem with that was the profile pretending to be the US Commander Stavridis was in fact run by a group of Chinese spies.
By friending all these government officials the Chinese spies gained access to lots of information, such as email addresses, pictures of friends and family, phone numbers, the names of family members and who knows maybe even delicate details of their movements.
NATO is reluctant to give a statement as to who exactly was behind the attack, but The Telegraph reveals that it was almost certainly someone within the Chinese intelligence. A spokesman from NATO gave the following statement:
“There have been several fake supreme allied commander pages. Facebook has cooperated in taking them down. We are not aware that they are Chinese. 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.”
Some will (as always) blame Facebook for being too transparent and all that, but isn’t this really a case of high ranked military officials who shouldn’t be sharing as much as they did on Facebook?