Hackers use UK airwoman’s dating profile to steal F-35 secrets
Story Code : 742783
“Within the last week 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 F-35,” according to an internal RAF memo viewed by the UK’s Daily Mail.
When asked for comment, RAF officials confirmed to the outlet that the perpetrators used the Tindr account to befriend another member of the air force and obtain “some information” about the fifth-generation warplane.
Daily Mail said the so-called "honeytrap" attack had raised the alarms among RAF commanders, prompting them to warn the personnel about similar attacks in future.
“This incident serves to highlight the risk of social engineering (SE) and online reconnaissance against social media profiles that disclose links to HM Forces,” said the memo.
The attack came weeks after the RAF received its first four F-35s from American weapons maker Lockheed Martin.
The documents appeared to imply that foreign powers were behind the attack although the origin remained unknown.
“It should be noted that UK military posture, policy and capabilities continue to be significant targets of interest for hostile state and non-state actors,” it read.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project is the world’s most expensive weapon at over $1.3 trillion. The UK has agreed to manufacture 15 percent of every one of over 3,000 jets ordered.
London has earmarked £9.1 billion to buy 48 of the jets by 2025 and a total of 138 in the long run.
The fighter jet has been dogged by software bugs and design flaws that have led to delivery delays and budget problems.
Critics, including none other than US President Donald Trump, have balked at the aircraft’s hefty price for what it offers in exchange.
Trump has even threatened to replace the jet with decades-old F-18s if Lockheed fails to slash the costs and speed up production.