British intelligence agency MI5 said that in the past five years, “criminal and hostile actors” have used LinkedIn to reach at least 10,000 people. These anonymous “actors” pretend to be recruiters and are often associated with people who have valuable or sensitive information. They provide these individuals with great opportunities, but the real intention is to collect as much information as possible from the target. CPNI has now launched a campaign-“think before contact”-to spread awareness of this threat among government officials.

CPNI stated that online access to such personal data may harm the interests of individuals’ professions and organizations, and may harm the national security and prosperity of the United Kingdom. CPNI added that sometimes these processing methods also approach the target with “unique” business opportunities. CPNI warns that in addition to government employees, people who work in the private sector and academia and obtain confidential or commercially sensitive technology or research may also be affected by such factors.

This campaign requires government workers or officials to focus on several factors in interacting with anyone online. CPNI said that it is important that employees understand whether their personal files are “malicious” and the “potential threats” they may pose. It also requires employees to report the suspicious profile to the security manager and then remove it from the list.

The UK is not the only country facing such problems. In May 2019, a former CIA official was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted in an espionage case. 62-year-old Kevin Mallory was found guilty of selling classified US “national defense information” to Chinese intelligence agents for US$25,000 (approximately 1.8 million rupees) during his trip to Shanghai in 2017.

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Although neither intelligence agencies nor CPNI have named any social media platforms, the BBC reported that it was LinkedIn and these processes would contact people with sensitive information.

LinkedIn welcomes CPNI’s efforts, and LinkedIn stated that its team is committed to providing a secure platform for the platform, allowing real people to connect with professionals they know and trust.

It said in a statement: “We are actively looking for signs of state-sponsored events on the platform, and quickly take action against bad actors to protect our members.” The platform also said that its threat intelligence team uses what it finds. Information and intelligence from various sources (including government agencies) to eliminate false accounts.

It concluded: “We have a very clear policy: Fraudulent activities for the purpose of misleading or deceiving our members violate our terms of service.”


Is OnePlus 9R old wine in a new bottle or something else? We discussed it on the gadget 360 podcast Orbital. Later (from 23:00), we will discuss the new OnePlus watch. Orbital is available for Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify and wherever you get podcasts.