A Chinese spy has reportedly used LinkedIn to implicate thousands of British officials, tricking them into divulging classified information.
The alleged spy’s main alias, “Robin Zhang”, was used to offer British companies and other officials, masking another motive for extracting sensitive intelligence. The ruse extended to luring recruitment consultants with payments in exchange for revealing people linked to the intelligence services.
Targets were lured with offers of trips to China, paid speaking engagements, and the presentation of reports, which were later used to manipulate them into providing more confidential data.
An investigation by The Times reveals that the alleged spy targeted professionals from various sectors, including the military and think tanks, often using assertive tactics. The authenticity of the company details provided by Zhang was questionable, further deepening suspicions.
LinkedIn has raised increasing concerns as an espionage channel. In 2021, MI5 revealed that more than 10,000 UK citizens had encountered fake profiles associated with hostile nations over the past five years. Amid growing warnings from several countries, LinkedIn has made efforts to identify and remove fake accounts linked to state-sponsored activities.
This case echoes similar instances worldwide. In 2019, a former CIA officer was convicted of sharing secrets with China through LinkedIn interactions. As platforms such as LinkedIn grapple with this challenge, the saga underscores the evolving landscape of espionage, where digital manipulation through social media poses a serious threat to national security.
This article is sourced from and written by AI.
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