Since news about the Fighter Jet F-35 surfaced online, several hacking attempts have been utilised to discover some of the secrets of this pricey £9billion aircraft. The most recent one involves hacking of a British Royal Airforce airwoman’s Tinder account by means of social engineering, supposedly, to steal the secrets of F-35. However, the Ministry of Defense denies leaking of any jet secrets.
After hacking the airwoman’s profile in July, the spies – posing as the woman – matched her up with colleagues and sweet-talk them into revealing secrets about Britain’s new F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter. After the spy extracted some trivial details out of a smitten serviceman, the woman noticed her profile had been hacked and informed her bosses immediately, reported the Daily Mail.
News of the honeytrap comes weeks after The Sun revealed the arrest of former Rolls-Royce scientist Bryn Jones, 73, on suspicion of passing secrets about the jets to China.
RAF later confirmed in a memo that some information was shared with third parties. The leaked information belonged to the F-35 Lightning II fighter. Top brass warned RAF personnel to be vigilant for any attempts at social engineering by Britain’s adversaries.
A leaked RAF memo seen by the Mail on Sunday read: “A serving member of the RAF had their online dating profile hacked. It subsequently transpired that the perpetrator then attempted to befriend another serving member of the RAF to apparently elicit comment and detail on the F-35.”
“SE (social engineering) is psychological manipulation to elicit confidential or sensitive information. SE can be instigated over the phone or in a social setting (i.e. in a bar) as well as online. A skilled and convincing operative will aim to elicit information through friendship, sympathy and/or obligation in order to accumulate pieces of information to build up a bigger picture,” the memo, written by the RAF’s head of security, reads.