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posted by NCommander on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the be-careful-who-you-friend dept.

A three-year espionage campaign, believed to have originated in Iran, has used an elaborate scheme involving a fabricated news agency, fake social media accounts and bogus journalist identities to trick victims in the United States, Israel and elsewhere. iSight Partners has released a report showing that it believes the attackers have built an elaborate universe of fake personas bolstered by secondary accounts all for the purpose of garnering the trust of their targets by using fake accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+.

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Thexalon on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:05PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:05PM (#48737)

    In reality, the fake news agency is called "CNN".

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by isostatic on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:21PM

    by isostatic (365) on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:21PM (#48743) Journal

    Someone having an account on google+ would be the first warning sign.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Sir Garlon on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:23PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:23PM (#48745)

    So the idea is the spy creates a fake persona, bumps into the target at a fundraiser or press conference or whatever, chats him up, and exchanges business cards. Then he gets the target to friend his fake persona, and uses the target's status updates as an intelligence source. Spy then sends spearphishing links to the target. Target clicks on the links because they come from a "friend." Boom, target is pwned.

    The only surprising thing about this story is that Facebook has been around for what, 10 years, and I haven't heard about this kind of scam before. It seems straightforward enough and would work for old-fashioned financial crime as well as state espionage.

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:24PM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:24PM (#48746) Journal

    Which sane person would tell to a reporter something he doesn't want a foreign government to know? You know, normally reporters publish their investigation results, and it should be no problem for foreign governments to get at the content of such publications.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by lx on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:43PM

    by lx (1915) on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:43PM (#48755)

    The fake reporters were quickly found out when they started asking hard hitting questions to politicians and when they conducted actual investigations instead of reprinting press releases verbatim.
    Leading journalists quickly pointed out that such unprofessional behavior is strongly discouraged at all reputable news outlets.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @10:18PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @10:18PM (#48939)

      Lol .. maybe next time they'll come back as lobbyists and just tell senators what they want done instead.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by mattwrock on Thursday May 29 2014, @04:21PM

    by mattwrock (3835) on Thursday May 29 2014, @04:21PM (#48815)

    Someone in Iran finally rented Argo!

    --
    Ones and zeros everywhere... I even saw a 2 - Bender