If you’re a member of the US military who’s gotten friendly Facebook messages from private-sector recruiters for months on end, suggesting a lucrative future in the aerospace or defense contractor industry, Facebook may have some bad news.
On Thursday, the social media giant revealed that it has tracked and at least partially disrupted a long-running Iranian hacking campaign that used Facebook accounts to pose as recruiters, reeling in US targets with convincing social engineering schemes before sending them malware-infected files or tricking them into submitting sensitive credentials to phishing sites. Facebook says that the hackers also pretended to work in the hospitality or medical industries, in journalism, or at NGOs or airlines, sometimes engaging their targets for months with profiles across several different social media platforms. And unlike some previous cases of Iranian state-sponsored social media catfishing that have focused on Iran’s neighbors, this latest campaign appears to have largely targeted Americans and, to a lesser extent, UK and European victims.
Facebook says it has removed “fewer than 200” fake profiles from its platforms as a result of the investigation and notified roughly the same number of Facebook users that hackers had targeted them.