Belgian intelligence workers reveal themselves on social media

Alain Winants, director of Belgium

From Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post:  The identities of several Belgian intelligence workers have been exposed, but it wasn’t rival spies who blew their cover. The workers listed the Belgian State Security Service as their employer on Facebook and LinkedIn, the Brussels-based paper De Standaard reports. The security service hasn’t confirmed if the profiles are real, and Facebook in particular requires no proof of workplace. But in interviews with De Standaard, both a Belgian senator and a security service spokesperson expressed concerns about the profiles, suggesting they might be authentic. 

They wouldn’t be the first. . . . In France, a number of Facebook users claim to work for the General Directorate for External Security and list their languages, educational background and marital status publicly. Similarly, Foursquare records 500 self-reported ‘check-ins’ at Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service by 142 users.

From RT:  A top-ranking Belgian security official has reportedly warned all employees of the imminent exploit of such profile information. “Russian and Chinese intelligence services have thousands of employees. They have the manpower and time to search for such profiles,” the official said as quoted by Flemish newspaper De Standaard, adding that those placing such information online put themselves and their colleagues under threat.

The issue will also be raised in Belgium’s parliamentary committee on intelligence and security services, De Standaard reported.

Such concerns are well founded, as security and intelligence workers might be readily targeted by phishing attacks and malicious software scans attempting to retrieve their personal information and particularly their professional links and contacts.  (photo: Belga)

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