NATO Experiment Manipulated Soldiers Through Facebook

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by AlphaAtlas, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,716
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018
    The NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence published a report on the challenges governments face with online security, and Wired managed to spot a particular interesting experiment within the multi-section report. As part of an experiment, the independent NATO organization used Facebook to to try to manipulate soldiers during a military exercise. Over several weeks, the researchers posted fake webpages and groups, promoted them with targeted advertising, and gradually lured members of the military exercise into them. Eventually, the researcher were able to identify "a significant amount of people taking part in the exercise and managed to identify all members of certain units, pinpoint the exact locations of several battalions, gain knowledge of troop movements to and from the exercises, and discover the dates and active phases of the exercises." The researchers note that several of Facebook's existing countermeasures were effective, but they weren't enough to stop the researchers from effectively infiltrating the exercise.

    The researchers also tracked down service members' Instagram and Twitter accounts and searched for other information available online, some of which a bad actor might be able to exploit. "We managed to find quite a lot of data on individual people, which would include sensitive information," Biteniece says. "Like a serviceman having a wife and also being on dating apps"

    "Every person has a button. For somebody there's a financial issue, for somebody it's a very appealing date, for somebody it's a family thing," Sarts says. "It's varied, but everybody has a button. The point is, what's openly available online is sufficient to know what that is."
     
  2. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,689
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    This is why they regulate people's activity on the web when deployed (at least in the Army they did). I'm pretty sure they closely monitored phone conversations and emails while in the internet cafes.
    People are fooled easily to give away to much information which jeopardizes the mission.
     
  3. TorxT3D

    TorxT3D Gawd

    Messages:
    649
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    nothing is private anymore.. best you can do now is disconnect and keep your mouth shut.
     
    The Mad Atheist likes this.
  4. sc5mu93

    sc5mu93 [H]Lite

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    nothing good comes from social media.
     
    Blown Cap, N4CR, DanNeely and 8 others like this.
  5. Submarinesailor

    Submarinesailor [H]Lite

    Messages:
    73
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    OPSEC fail.
    That's why US DOD and contractors have to take an annual refresher. Gotta keep the country safe!
     
    FlawleZ, PaulP and Krazy925 like this.
  6. RipperMac

    RipperMac Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    353
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2002
    And this is the world we have chosen to live in..said it before..we are vehemently paranoid when the government does something shysty but willingly offer up our daily lives to the harvesters on social media who can really manipulate and predict behavior. This is just the government verifying what the harvesters have known for years.
     
    Blown Cap, PaulP, Armenius and 2 others like this.
  7. RealBeast

    RealBeast Gawd

    Messages:
    651
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    While that's a start, sadly it isn't enough for the young enlistees who grew up on connectivity.
    Like the stupid kid that took pictures on his nuclear sub, no ill intent just no real thought process.

    While mine is a totally different environment, we battle daily with all our young techs and nurses texting from the OR constantly.
     
    zrikz and captaindiptoad like this.
  8. scojer

    scojer 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,850
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Maybe the world would be a better place if all members of the military are banned from having a social media account while they're actively serving.

    Before you all say that it's important to stay connected:
    it's not. I was in when Facebook was overtaking Myspace. Myspace was banned on the network due to potential security risks. Facebook wasn't because it was new. I'm surprised it never got blocked, and now, I think it should have.
     
  9. purple_monster

    purple_monster Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    327
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    loose lips sink ships. social media is just one reason that we will never be able to participate in a large scale conflict ever again. can you imagine how many posts on reddit there would be asking how to dodge the draft? 400 year empire, thats all you really get.
     
    clockdogg and scojer like this.
  10. Krazy925

    Krazy925 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    50CE7235-309C-4A7D-BD96-7A68D849620A.jpeg
    OPSEC PEOPLE! DID THIS MAN TEACH YOU NOTHING?!
     
    zrikz, Nobu, Tekara and 6 others like this.
  11. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

    Messages:
    27,382
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2000
    You'd think the military would have policies against any social media use while deployed on active duty...
     
  12. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,363
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008

    Damned, I looked, there are a ton of images from that training all over the place.

    Facepalm US Army'
     
  13. Krazy925

    Krazy925 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Someone else has had to sit through this shit multiple times I see :D
     
    lcpiper likes this.
  14. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,534
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    The refreshers only do so much after you've taken them for the 20th time. But yes, it's not shocking whatsoever how much information leaks.
     
    captaindiptoad likes this.
  15. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,363
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    16 years active duty, retired, another 20 years as a contractor.

    It does change over the years, but it's slow. So slow. In the old days it was all power point slides and briefings in the auditorium.
     
    SomeoneElse and scojer like this.
  16. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,363
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008

    It's true, Fact is, a lot of things don't sink in with people until they get hit in the nose over them. And then again, with some that's still not enough.

    They need to do far more of these Red Team tests and follow up with the newspaper to the nose. Maybe even engineer the tests so that fellow soldiers get fucked over a bit, let them live with their fuck-up and some pissed off cohorts awhile.

    BTW: I read the article and this may not have been a US Military unit that was tested. US Stratcom is who the report was for, and the office that conducted the test was from the same Command. But why the insistence on framing this as a NATO thing unless it was a NATO Member unit that was being tested?

    Or perhaps it was a US Military unit during a NATO Exercise.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
    SomeoneElse and scojer like this.
  17. Delicieuxz

    Delicieuxz Gawd

    Messages:
    860
    Joined:
    May 11, 2016
    Facebook itself is one big NATO manipulation psyops project. Overview of Facebook's allowed and posted content management is literally handled by Atlantic Council, which is the propaganda and disinformation arm of NATO.

    Facebook & Atlantic Council unite: Now social media giant serves NATO’s agenda

    NATO was created solely to be an anti-USSR force, and today exists solely to be an anti-Russia force. Correspondingly, Atlantic Council is a fierce war-monger that openly advocates terrorist attacks on Russia's infrastructure, including cyber attacks, attacks on Russia's power grid, and bombing the Kerch Strait bridge that connects Crimea to Russia's mainland.


    Recently, Atlantic Council was behind many false accusations of Russian bots and trolls on Facebook and Twitter (including these infamous accusations that backfired spectacularly), and was the driving force behind Twitter's witch-hunt that labelled any Twitter profile with a Cyrillic character in it 'Russia-linked'.




    Atlantic Council was a core partner of the disgraced PropOrNot propaganda project, which was lambasted and discredited during the 2016 US election campaign when it alleged that all US media that didn't parrot the CIA's narrative is "Russian propaganda". That project was likely one of their brainchildren.

    Many disinformation activities that Atlantic Council is involved in have been exposed since September 2018, with the leaks of documents belonging to the UK state troll farm and disinformation factory "Integrity Initiative", which is also funded by NATO and which many of Atlantic Council's more notorious members are also a part of.

    Part of those leaks are here - but I think there are 6 parts in total:

    https://archive.cyberguerrilla.org/...iative-british-informational-war-against-all/
    https://archive.cyberguerrilla.org/...british-informational-war-against-all-part-2/
    https://archive.cyberguerrilla.org/...british-informational-war-against-all-part-3/


    The documents revealed that Facebook directly funds "Integrity Initiative".

    The leaked "Integrity Initiative" documents revealed that Atlantic Council-partnered, and NATO, UK government, and US State Department-funded "Integrity Initiative" has what it calls "clusters" in many countries feeding anonymous propaganda narratives to the media in those countries. Many Western journalists were named as being part of those clusters, including several journalists from BBC and The Guardian, Washington Post, and many other popular Western news outlets.



    Read the whole Twitter thread to get a better overview.

    Some of the MSM plants of "Integrity Initiative" that were ousted by the leaked documents include:

    David Nicholas and Eleanor Scarnell - UK House of Commons Defence Committee
    Ben Nimmo - Atlantic Council
    Bill Browder - Putin critic, Magnitsky Act
    Nick Cohen, James Landsale, Jonathan Marcus - BBC
    Anne Applebaum - Washington Post
    David Aaronovitch, Dominic Kennedy - The Times
    Deborah Haynes - Sky News
    Natalie Nougayrede, Carole Cadwalladr - The Guardian
    Paul Canning – blogger with a focus on Ukraine, who has contributed to The Guardian
    David Leask – Chief Reporter, Herald Scotland
    Borzhou Daragahi - The Independent

    And many others.

    US and UK MSM is tightly coordinated through Atlantic Council and other efforts - which means that US and UK MSM is a state propaganda regime.

    "Integrity Initiative" also pays by the word for anti-Russia news articles: https://archive.is/4t473


    The "Integrity Initiative" "clusters" throughout Europe are constantly working to create and push anti-Russia sentiment and government policies with manufactured propaganda narratives. They target and seek to destroy the reputation of people who don't write NATO-friendly pieces, using the GCHQ's playbook to to Infiltrate The Internet To Manipulate, Deceive, And Destroy Reputations.

    EiVyyHi.jpg

    Here's an "Integrity Initiative" performance report from one of the leaked documents where they sought to and achieved precisely that:

    Screen-Shot-2018-12-17-at-4.41.44-AM.png


    "Integrity Initiative" is also already present and increasing their presence in the US: Covert British Military-Smear Machine Moving into US

    As with Atlantic Council, those operating "Integrity Initiative" don't just peddle online propaganda and disinformation, but also advocate for violent real-world actions: UK psyops bigwig pushed plan to 'mine Sevastopol Bay' during 2014 Crimea crisis – leaked documents



    So, Facebook is an integrated part of US, UK, and NATO state and military propaganda - which is why Facebook has just banned several popular Facebook pages over their not disclosing that they receive funding from Russia, even though no other page on Facebook has ever been required to do such.

    And NATO's experiment on US soldiers on Facebook was most certainly carried out by Atlantic Council - the propaganda group that deciding what on Facebook counts as propaganda and what doesn't.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
    N4CR likes this.
  18. Krazy925

    Krazy925 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    I can’t remember which of those online courses were take home and I did them drunk.

    So many hours wasted on stupid presentations. Just don’t post about troop movements on FB. The wives were far worse on battalion and brigade social media. Always wanting to know when people are coming home etc etc.

    Also I do find it interesting how many middle eastern people wanted to friend me when my employer was US Army. It’s way less now that it’s something mundane.
     
  19. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,363
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008

    You did a hell of a lot of work on that post, and I am not challenging your information on NATO or the Atlantic Council, but .....

    Did you miss the part in the article, and in my post, where this was reported as a US STRATCOM test carried out by US STRATCOM itself?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  20. Delicieuxz

    Delicieuxz Gawd

    Messages:
    860
    Joined:
    May 11, 2016
    I didn't see it before posting.

    However, the PDF report says, "A research team from NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence carried out an experiment in support of a military exercise in an Allied country."

    It sounds like the military exercise that the test was performed on was a US military exercise, while the test itself was conducted by NATO StratCom.
     
  21. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,460
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
  22. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,363
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008

    Awesome, I get to eat crow, admit my mistake, and apologize for my errors ....... it seems that you are correct and that I misread the article.

    I mistakenly interpreted StratCom as STRATCOM and they are two very different entities.

    I withdraw my objection Sir, and ask your forgiveness.

    Don't worry too much about my poor ego, I look at experiences such as this, as an opportunity to grow as a person, by admitting that I am not a miserable know-it-all :facepalm:

    See, my ego survives intact :ROFLMAO:
     
    GoldenTiger and Delicieuxz like this.
  23. Delicieuxz

    Delicieuxz Gawd

    Messages:
    860
    Joined:
    May 11, 2016
    No worries.
     
    lcpiper likes this.
  24. RipperMac

    RipperMac Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    353
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2002
    So social media is not being manipulated by the Russians and Chinese...because you know....we trust them :ROFLMAO:
     
  25. NickJames

    NickJames [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,584
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    I see the same training video applies to all departments. As someone who has to take these courses every year, they're so easily ignored it's laughable. Most of them are just 10 page PDFs or powerpoint presentations that you can just skip to the end and hit complete.
     
  26. Krazy925

    Krazy925 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    I just knew it was the army’s. We send it to people whenever they say to much about their weekend plans. Love that picture.
     
  27. NickJames

    NickJames [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,584
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    DOJ uses the same training video, it's pretty amusing.