New Delhi: From seeking sensitive details about the deployment of security forces to the number of jawans, armoury and equipment, hackers of the enemy nations on Facebook are cloning social media profiles of Indian security forces to extract crucial information.
As part of cyber spying on India, hackers of enemy nations are now eyeing officers and jawans by cloning their social media account. A senior officer from security forces told The420.in that after cloning the account they start sending distress message to their family and friends trying to extract as much information about their location and other sensitive details.
Security agencies have also seen that some of the cybercriminals are also cloning the account to dupe people on the pretext of selling goods online. All this is done to gain the confidence of gullible people.
According to a senior CRPF officer, there have been many complaints from jawans that especially during the last few months their friends and family members have received a variety of requests from their cloned profiles.
In one of the case, a friend of a jawan who was posted at a sensitive location received a friend request from another jawan on Facebook. He asked the friend to send jawan’s location claiming that he was untraceable. He sensed foul play and found that the account was a fake one.
According to cybercrime investigators, these are some of the tools of cyber spying and Pakistan and China have been doing it very aggressively. In past, they used to make a fake profile of attractive women and honeytrap Indian soldiers by befriending them on social media. Now, they are creating their clone account.
There are many such cases where money has been demanded from the jawans’ family and friends.
Alert Issued by CRPF
After such cases coming to light, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has issued a letter raising an alarm about the cloning of their jawans’ Facebook profiles.
“It has been observed that anti-social elements and people with malicious intent are using Facebook profile cloning to target vulnerable users. This scam is also being used to target security forces and extract confidential information,” the CRPF said in the recent letter issued to the jawans deployed in sensitive locations such as Jammu and Kashmir and red zones.
Guidelines by Indian Army
Earlier, the Indian Army has issued new guidelines for officers and jawans to restrict the usage of social media platforms. Army in its two-page guidelines directed its staff of 1.3 million people not to join any WhatsApp Groups or use social media platforms, warning about the dangers of “honey-trapping” or leaking out of sensitive information.
Army personnel are instructed not to post pictures on their social media handles or disclose their affiliation to the armed forces. No location, designation or picture in group or uniform to be shared on social media account as it is being misused by the digital spies. Enemy agencies have access to advanced monitoring, decryption and data analysis capabilities.