US Marines are looking to buy a tool that can identify fake social media accounts

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The United States Marines Corps has floated a request for quotation (RFQ) for a software that can help identify cloned or fake social media accounts

The US Marine Corps is on a lookout for a software that can help it identify cloned or fake social media accounts who are posing as senior officers. Their fear is real! Some day in the future, a cloned social media account posing as the senior officer could post a racist rant or an anti-national post malign the United States as well as the US Army and Marines.

According to a request for quotation (RFQ) released on 20th August 2020, the U.S. Marine Corps wants a commercial off-the-shelf software that can identify social media accounts that pose a threat to personnel and the Marines Corps Enterprise Network.

According to the RFQ, the Marines want a tool to identify “evil twin” social media accounts or accounts pretending to be key personnel, general officers, and senior executive service employees. The Deputy Commander of the Cybersecurity Branch Service says Marines need an automated tool to complement their data tracking, detection, and collection activities on social networking sites, significantly reducing the computer security risks of their corporate networks and individual members.

The US Marines Corps said that there are social media accounts that use fake ids of Marine Corps officers and send malicious links to service members. These cloned or fake social media often extort money but in some cases, they have been known to extort information as well.

The RFQ  details that the Marine Corps require software with the following abilities.

  • The ability to extract information from major social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, among others)
  • Detection of the use of messaging apps (WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger)
  • Searching for information on all kinds of websites

The Marine Corps will purchase a minimum of a maximum of 10 and a minimum of a license of the desired tool. The US Marine Corps also wants this tool to access Chinese platforms such as Sina Weibo, WeChat, TikTok, among others.

“Using the latest available COTS automation technology will reduce both human and network resource expenditure, time and work factor efforts allowing for a more comprehensive social media review,” the RFQ reads.

The Chinese origin Apps like TikTok, WeChat, and Weibo pose a serious data security risk to the United States and fake ids on these platforms posing as senior Marine officials could trigger a diplomatic row.  It should be remembered that multiple Chinese tech companies like Huawei, ZTE, TikTok, WeChat are facing a U.S. blockade due to data security issues.

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"The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had." Eric Schmidt

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