PUBLISHED:15:01 EST, 9 September 2012| UPDATED:15:44 EST, 9 September 2012
The Taliban are posing as pretty girls on Facebook in an attempt to befriend soldiers online and gather crucial information, a report has warned.
Australian and coalition troops are being given pre-deployment warnings that they are being targeted by Taliban insurgents who are pretending to be ‘attractive women’ online, reported Australia’s Daily Telegraph.
The report, which was released by the Australian government, also warned that geo-tagging – where websites secretly log the location of where a post is made or a photo is uploaded – poses a particular threat.
Fighting via Facebook: The Taliban are posing as pretty girls on Facebook in an attempt to befriend soldiers online and gather crucial information, a report has warned
The Review of Social Media and Defence found that personnel had a false sense of security where they excessively relied on privacy settings to protect confidential information.
According to the paper, soldiers’ families and friends are also unwittingly putting personnel at risk and compromising missions by sharing information online.
‘Media personnel and enemies create fake profiles to gather information. For example, the Taliban have used pictures of attractive women as the front of their Facebook profiles and have befriended soldiers,’ warns the report.
Many of the 1577 Defence members, who were surveyed for the report, had no idea that enemies may pose as school friends or attractive women, reported the Telegraph.
Risky: Soldiers¿ families and friends are also unwittingly putting personnel at risk and compromising missions by sharing information online, a review by the Australian government has found
The review recommends education for family and friends on the dangers of sharing details like names, ranks and locations.
Three Australian soldiers were allegedly killed by an Afghan Army trainee earlier this month.
Developing infrastructure in Afghanistan, including WiFi, has created a new platform for the Taliban to fight from, reported Business Insider.
Social media has become accepted as new concern for the military and is now included in safety briefs; some troops advocate a total ban on social networking