Security threats have been on the rise ever since the death of Osama bin Laden. These threats vary from spam attacks to very serious politically motivated, foreign nation attacks. According to Charles Dodd, a government consultant for cyber defense, social networks are adding to this string of attacks because terrorists are using them to find information and recruit others to join their cause.
He also points out that these terrorist camps are “well-versed in how to get past our good senses,” which is why they are reaching out on places consumers are comfortable, such a social networks. Another challenge involved is privacy concerns, which creates a two-sided problem.
Not that governments can count upon the accuracy of what they are viewing in social media. As Paolo Passeri in his article on the Consumerization of Warfare states:
The main security concern relies in reputation, a bless and a curse for Social Networks. As already mentioned, in the specific circumstance the tweets of war were checked with “traditional” methods (anyway this is already an advantage since it is easier to check the veracity of a received information, rather than probing satellite images search for enemy outposts), but, generally speaking in absence of verification means, there is no guarantee concerning the truthfulness of a tweet, which, for instance might have been modified or manipulated up to the point of reversing the original content.
- MI 6 Opens Cyber Attacks on al-Qaeda. (ramanan50.wordpress.com)
- China Admits to Assembling a 30-Strong Team of Elite Cyber Commandos (techland.time.com)
- UK develops cyber-weapons programme (mirror.co.uk)