Experts say social media has made it easier and less risky for spies to reach out to targets and extract information, because they are always operating from a distance. (Illustration by Suneesh K.)
If Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) or another hostile foreign agency wants to get into the country’s classified underbelly today – the armed forces, defence research and space organizations – the online charms of a femme fatale, it seems, can produce astonishing results.
On June 17, a contractual employee of the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) in Hyderabad was held for passing confidential information on India’s missile programme to an alleged ISI operative in Pakistan through social media. The 29-year-old accused, identified as Dukka Mallikarjuna Reddy alias Arjun Bittu, was arrested from his home in Hyderabad.
Cyber sleuths dabble indir monitoring social media in the last 20 months or so, had come across unusually heavy documentation emanating from Reddy’s Facebook account – information that was not the usual social chatter. Instead, there were details of classified advanced naval system programmes from the defence lab’s RCI complex in Balapur, Hyderabad, where the accused was posted.
That was enough to set off alarm bells in the security establishment – alarm bells, which even Reddy caught on to, albeit too late. Read More …