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Enemy Spies Are Catfishing Indian Army Officers for Information On Instagram

International spy agents are posing as women on social media to extract sensitive information from military personnel.

by Shamani Joshi
25 June 2019, 9:24am

Photo for representational purposes only

Everybody knows Instagram DM is the new dating destination. But because image is everything on the visual-driven social media platform, it’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind romance with someone who may just be catfishing you by pretending to be someone else and using fake pictures as bait. And now, it may just be a new way for enemy spies to gather information on the Indian Army.

According to news agency ANI, the army intelligence issued a warning to its officers and special forces that an enemy spy was suspected of using a fake Instagram account called ‘Oyesomya’ to honeytrap them, which basically means to investigate for information under false pretences.

While this account has become defunct ever since the intelligence wing cited it along with a picture of the suspected spy, five cases of honeytrapping have been reported between 2015 and 2017. Last February, a senior Air Force officer was accused of giving out classified information to a model he was chatting with on Facebook, who turned out to be two Pakistani spy agents.

Just in January this year, a soldier was arrested for passing on information to Pakistani spy agency ISI. This guy fell into the honeytrap thinking he was actually chatting with someone named Anika Chopra on Facebook, and kept her updated on his unit’s movements, though he was too junior to have access to sensitive information. After his arrest, the army tracked multiple social media handles to monitor the activity of suspected Pakistani operatives so as to prevent such a situation from happening again. Even the US National Counterintelligence and Security Centre has warned against Chinese and Russian spies using AI-generated fake profiles to spy on them.

Armed forces have to follow strict guidelines when it comes to building up their social media profiles. This means that not only are they prevented from putting their identity, rank, posting or other professional information in their bio, but they also aren’t allowed to post pictures wearing their uniform.

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honey trap