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On SecurityJul 2, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
In the same way that companies use LinkedIn to spot and recruit talent, intelligence agencies use it to spot and recruit spies.
Espionage and LinkedIn: How Not to Be Recruited As a Spy
The risk that hostile intelligence services will use LinkedIn as a recruitment tool has been widely reported. One such report, by Mika Aaltola at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs published in June 2019, focused on Chinese activity on LinkedIn. The phenomenon is not, however, confined to Chinese intelligence operations. All intelligence agencies exploit the platform, something illustrated by the Iranian-linked hack of Deloitte in which LinkedIn was used to set a virtual honey trap. Even so, the number of reported cases attributed to the Chinese -- including cases I've written on like that of former intelligence officers such as Kevin Mallory, or corporate espionage cases such as one involving an engineer at GE Aviation -- suggest their intelligence services are among the most active and aggressive users of LinkedIn as a recruitment tool. And this makes mitigating the threat critical, whether on LinkedIn or any other social media platform.
GuidanceFeb 27, 2019 | 15:12 GMT
Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (L) gestures as he speaks with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, during a meeting in Beijing on Feb. 19, 2019.
The Iranian Foreign Minister's Resignation Reveals a Political Struggle in Tehran
Confusion reigned in Tehran following the surprise resignation of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif late Feb. 25. The decision, which he announced on Instagram, came a day after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited Tehran, apparently without Zarif's knowledge. Zarif noted Feb. 26 he was quitting in protest, in part to "protect the integrity" of Iran's Foreign Ministry, which he added should "return to its rightful place" in foreign policy.
AssessmentsSep 13, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Police detain musician-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu – also known as Bobi Wine - during a demonstration on July 11, 2018, in Kampala.
The Pop Star Who Would Challenge Uganda's President
The memo to authorities could hardly be more explicit: "This is a message to the government expressing exactly what is on the people's minds," Ugandan pop star Bobi Wine announces to open a single, "Freedom." In the song, the musician -- whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu -- sings that he and his followers are fighting for freedom. Authorities banned the song, but "Freedom" has only served as a prelude to the singer's political ascent this year -- as well as a bloody crackdown last month in which he was charged with treason and allegedly tortured in prison. For years, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has succeeded in neutralizing any potential threats to his power, but the chord that Bobi Wine has struck with ordinary citizens threatens the president unlike any other before. And as the wider continent's youth population booms, it's a note that might also resonate across Africa.
Contributor PerspectivesJul 9, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
Swiss player Xherdan Shaqiri's celebration after scoring a World Cup goal against Serbia included flashing the Albanian eagle. Shaqiri was born in Kosovo, whose ethnic Albanian population fought a destructive conflict with Serbia in the 1990s.
The Balkan Wars Revisited at the World Cup
Watching the World Cup abroad is a special experience. For the monthlong duration of the event, whole cities come to a standstill, especially as their countries' teams compete. Waiters at cafes at times seem almost unable to take orders because they are so transfixed on what's taking place on the field of play. In Lausanne, my favorite spots to watch the matches were inevitably communal in nature: The terrace of a bar at the base of the nearly 800-year-old Lausanne Cathedral called the Great Escape or a craft brewery in an industrial section of the city called La Nebuleuse. Indeed, it was here that my teaching assistant Austin Duckworth and I watched what surely will be remembered as the most politically meaningful match in the group stage of this year's competition, the one pitting Switzerland and Serbia. Nationalism and the memory of Balkan conflict were on strong display.
On SecurityJan 4, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Predators stalk the internet and social media channels looking for easy targets.
To Stay Safe on the Internet, Don't Stand Out From the Herd
While I've written about the dangers of making oneself a target on social media before, two cases -- one in the United States and one in Germany -- had me thinking about the intersection of the internet and the attack cycle -- or attack cycles really, because there is a difference between being targeted by criminals, terrorists and hostile intelligence officers -- as well as the variety of operations these malefactors are capable of.
AssessmentsDec 28, 2017 | 18:23 GMT
Russia has begun insulating its economy from additional U.S. sanctions.
Russia Won't Sit Still for Additional U.S. Sanctions
Heading into the new year, tensions between Moscow and Washington show no sign of abating. The United States is continuing its investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election; both sides have accused each other of arms treaty violations; and both countries are continuing to build up their positions across the globe as they prepare for a long-term struggle. In addition, the United States has specified four areas -- each with varying effects and degrees of political fallout -- for further sanctions against Russia. The added pressure on the Kremlin comes as President Vladimir Putin faces re-election and Russia grows increasingly fragile.
On SecurityNov 23, 2017 | 13:40 GMT
Residents of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, thank soldiers on the street after the resignation of President Robert Mugabe.
Caught in a Crisis Abroad
The past week, a "non-coup" forced Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe from power. And while the Kenyan Supreme Court certified the re-election of Uhuru Kenyatta, it is almost certain the country's political unrest will continue. But this turmoil is not really that unusual; there almost always are crisis events of one type or another roiling some part of the world during any given week. And this means that at any given time there are travelers or expatriates who find themselves caught in tense situations in a foreign country. We thought it would be helpful to provide some guidance on how to react when caught in such a situation.
ReflectionsAug 23, 2017 | 19:36 GMT
Twitter has become a primary theater in the war of words between Doha and Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar Go Tit for Tat on Twitter
Saudi Arabia and Qatar have taken their diplomatic dispute to Mecca. Riyadh announced on Aug. 17 that it would reopen a border crossing -- and even charter flights -- to allow Qatari pilgrims into the kingdom after a round of negotiations with a member of Qatar's royal family. But the gesture, at first glance a sign of warming ties between the two Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, has only added fuel to the fire. Both countries are now using the pilgrimage as a weapon in their monthslong dispute. The tactic is nothing new for feuding governments in the Middle East; Iran accused Saudi Arabia of politicizing the hajj during their quarrel last year. Doha and Riyadh, however, have breathed new life into the strategy through social media, turning Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, along with state-backed media outlets, into minefields of often dubious information. The crisis in the GCC is deepening
On SecurityAug 10, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
If you want to share information about your trip on social media, do it afterward, not before or during your travels.
How Not to Become a Target on Social Media
It's August and for much of the world that means it is vacation time. In recent days I have seen ample evidence of this as people have tweeted, posted on Instagram and otherwise announced their vacation plans to the world. In many cases they even provide play-by-play updates. While sharing this information with your friends can be fun, these details are being broadcast to many people the vacationers do not know well, if at all. And this is where the danger lies: Crooks are increasingly finding social media to be a criminal intelligence gold mine.
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