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US official: China used LinkedIn for recruiting potential US spies

(LinkedIn)

Look out for suspicious job offers on LinkedIn. The Chinese government are using the social network to recruit Americans for espionage purposes, a US spy chief says.

According to William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, China is in contact with “thousands” of LinkedIn’s members in an attempt to discover of the U.S. government and commercial secrets.

Linkedin is a great location for foreign opponents to target not only individuals in the government, moulds, former CIA people, but academics, scientists, engineers, what they want. It is the ultimate playground for the collection,” Evanina told Reuters.

China is the use of LinkedIn to reach out to the experts in supercomputing, nuclear energy, nanotechnology, semiconductors, and other tech areas, according to Reuters, citing unnamed AMERICAN officials. Although Russia, Iran,

and
North Korea also exploit LinkedIn for recruiting purposes, China is seen as the most productive and will use tactics such as bribery and fake business deals to lure in potential informants.

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Evanina stopped briefly to say whether he was frustrated by LinkedIn answer of the spying activities. However, he has urge to the Microsoft-owned platform to a page of Twitter, which removed millions of suspected fake accounts.

Earlier this month, LinkedIn announced it had dropped off, a group of less than 40 fake accounts that tried to connect with the members of OUR political organizations. However, it is not clear who was behind those fake accounts, or what their intentions were.

In response to

Evanina’s

reported comments, LinkedIn, said: “We have never waited for requests to act and be active identify the bad actors and remove bad accounts

information
we discover and intelligence from a variety of sources, including public bodies.”

The company also has a “threat intelligence team” specifically devoted to stopping the malicious activity. But LinkedIn apart from direct commentary on suspected Chinese government espionage campaigns, or how many fake-accounts may be involved.

Evanina is speaking out on LinkedIn after a former CIA agent was convicted in June of spying for China. The officer, Kevin, Mallory, became embroiled in the espionage campaign after he received a message through LinkedIn in February 2017 of a Chinese headhunter. Mallory is now facing life in prison for the handing over of the AMERICAN secret documents to Shanghai think tank with alleged ties to a Chinese ministry of public security.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

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