In the recent months I had the opportunity to conduct an interesting study on the use of Social Media in the Military Sector, large diffusion of media platforms makes them very attractive for governments and intelligence agencies. Social media platforms reveal enormous potentiality that could be exploited also in critical sectors such as military and defense.
Modern social media networks are actively used by every government, the US, China and Russia are the most active in this field, but also emerging cyber countries like Iran and North Korea demonstrates an increasing interest in the matter.
The principal uses of social media for government are
On May 10th the Illinois Air National Guard 183rd Fighter Wing published a notice in the monthly issue of a newsletter titled Falcon View. The notice, that seems to be authentic, dedicates a paragraph to the use of social networking sites for computer network exploitation.
According the notice foreign governments regularly use social networks to conduct cyber attacks against DoD, attackers adopt social engineering techniques to gather sensitive information creating “significant operations security (OPSEC) concern”.
The impact is serious, leak of knowledge of the cyber threats could cause mission degradation or even loss of life, but great concern is also reserved to the possibility of use of social network platforms to inoculate malware in US AF networks.
“The nature of social networking sites (SNS) which promote socialization and the sharing of information makes personnel more susceptible to exploitation” reports the notice.
The notice and with special recommendations to all Air Force members related to the use of social networks, informing on the risks related to cyber espionage conducted by state sponsored hackers:
“Finally, be aware of the security settings on these websites and do not inadvertently release sensitive information to the public because of careless use.”
Following the integral notice, Notice to Airman 2013-080-001: