Feeds

Social media off to war with propaganda posts

Disinformation campaigns will start with NSFW honeypots

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Social media posts which lure readers with the promise of illegal, amoral or forbidden products and services may become a cold war cyber weapon, according to Kaspersky Labs CEO Eugene Kaspersky.

Speaking to The Register in Sydney yesterday Kaspersky said the usual suspects – Duqu, Stuxnet, whatever happened in Estonia and the regular data deletions apparently plaguing Iran – are all jolly good examples of cyberwar in action, but require a concerted effort.

Easier-to-execute, attacks, he believes, will be fought through dodgy posts to social networks.

Kaspersky’s theory is that states will create handles on social networks that initially post information about illegal (dodgy downloads or drugs), amoral (smut) or forbidden products (drugs again) in order to attract an audience. Once followers or friends have been won, the feeds will turn to dispensing propaganda. Messages of this sort won’t be explicit, Kaspersky said, but will instead represent an attempt at mass manipulation.

“A post could say ‘New Zealanders just killed several Australians,’” he said, reflecting the Antipodean location of his meeting with The Register yesterday. The cumulative effect of such posts, he feels, could demoralise or agitate a population in ways that advance international political and/or military agendas.

“You poison them, and little by little and you will have a huge conflict between countries,” he says.

All of which sounds very plausible, except for the fact that New Zealand doesn’t need disinformation to demoralise Australia: that’s what the All Blacks are for. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.