NATO Commander Target of Facebook ScamFake Accounts Set Up to Lure Friends, Colleagues
Cyber spies in China are suspected of launching an attack against a NATO senior military commander, U.S. Adm. James Stavridis, using a Facebook scam to gather information about Stavridis from his friends and colleagues, according to a report in the British newspaper The Observer.
The scheme involved cyber spies setting up fake Facebook accounts in Stavridis' name to fool his friends and colleagues into reaching out, answering private messages and providing information about him and themselves.
NATO officials tell the paper they aren't clear who's ultimately responsible for the fake Facebook pages, although some security sources contend China is behind the attacks.
A NATO official confirmed to the newspaper that Stavridis had been targeted on several occasions over the past two years, saying, "There have been several fake ... pages. Facebook has cooperated in taking them down ... the most important thing is for Facebook to get rid of them."
The fake accounts sent friend requests to senior British military officers and defense officials, according to an article in The Telegraph, another U.K. newspaper.
NATO is in communication with Facebook account managers regularly to address fake pages, which usually get deleted within 24 to 28 hours of being discovered, The Observer. says.