Honey Trap: The new espionage outfit

Honey trapping is an investigative practice that uses romantic or intimate relationships for an interpersonal, political or monetary purpose to obtain sensitive information.

In today’s cyber world, “Honey Trap” has gained a new dimension on social media. Popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc. are used to trap targets. Recently, Facebook has admitted that up to 270 million accounts on their platform are illegitimate. These illegitimate accounts are nothing but either bots or honey traps..

The honey trap accounts are usually of female profiles.
who first identify their targets then befriend them to later lure them into spilling crucial information which can compromise not only their safety but the nation’s security too. They use blackmailing or even worse, hacking to get the information out. The horrors intensify when these honey traps share malicious codes in the guise of web links or web applications to hack into the target’s device/system compromising all the data, giving them complete access. And this makes these honey traps an even bigger threat because they can control all the data without the target having an inkling about it.

Defense Personnel and Honey Trap

Numerous men across the world have been stung by a honey trap. However, it becomes severe when national security is at stake. More recently, army or defence personnel have come under the target of these vicious traps as the new form of cyber espionage. It has become an easy way to get hold of crucial intelligence endowing them with pivotal power to attack the nation.

The magnitude of damage that can be done when defence personnel falls prey to honey trap is not unimaginable and it makes it all the more important to take steps to curb it.

Here are some of the recent cases of honey trap stealing intel:

All these examples and many more outlines the increasing vulnerability of defence personnel, a cause of grave growing concern in today’s digital age. The threat is very real and very dangerous.

Counter Strategy to prevent Honey Trapping

While the risk of being honey trapped is another inevitable facet of modern cyber warfare, but prevention is plausible. We, at Innefu, are working on models and algorithms to detect honey trap profiles and to prevent a security breach on the cyber-war front.

Reverse psychology is at play in our honey trapping mechanism, we use the target to catch the honey trapper on a hunt. Our model works on various parameters to assess social media profiles and identify those at the risk of being honey trapped. Network profiling of these potential targets then helps us to draw a relationship graph where our system rates the suspicious profiles using inbuilt Artificial Intelligence based algorithms. It takes into consideration various social focal points like geographical distribution of the network, social v/s professional connects, community based connections etc.

The suspected profiles are scrutinized by our system on the basis of various algorithms based on different parameters. Some of them are:

Profile Picture

More often than not, the profile picture used by the honey trap is of an attractive female model. Hence, naturally, the first step that is undertaken by our algorithm is a reverse image search to find out the image on the Internet. This brings whether the profile is real or an imposter using a celebrity face or a stock image.

Follower/Friend count

The huge following base in a comparatively lesser time gives out warning signals. However, there are other check marks to be noted in the network.

Least Likely Connections

While detecting suspicious account improbable connections play a vital role. Real Facebook profiles add people which are from their domain or field of interest largely; however, a fake/honey trap profile would be connected to even the most obscure profiles having no commonalities whatsoever.

Network Analysis

Analysing the network can bring major red flags. Our model runs on algorithms to give out alerts whenever a profile with abnormal social behaviour is found.

These are just a few parameters part of the nuanced framework developed by us to keep this new beautiful security breach at bay!

Innefu Labs

Our team of technology enthusiasts are passionate about Big Data and AI to revolutionize the cyber security domain. Follow us as we take you on a journey of cybersecurity and its wonders with our products and services.

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