Remember this past October, when A Taliban spokesman sent out a tweet but inadvertently activated his location, revealing where he was in the world? Well, it happened again.
This time the “victim” was Abu Abdul-Rahman, previously known as Mark Taylor, a New Zealand man who has been fighting with ISIS in the middle east. And this time, it wasn’t just one tweet: Abdul-Rahman had to delete 45 tweets after discovering that he had tagged them with specific location coordinates. And it gets better:
Security researcher Jeff Wyers, who runs an open-source intelligence group called iBrado, used the tweet geo-location information to place Taylor in a specific house in the Syrian town of al-Taqbah.
In a blog post on the subject, Wyers added, “Taylor’s numerous failures demonstrate the opportunities that can be gained through monitoring and tracking extremists via social media and telecommunications.”
So, congrats to Abdul-Rahman, an international criminal who managed to give away his address via Twitter. That’s something that takes skill. Adding insult to injury (or maybe giving Taylor some protection from himself) is that the Twitter account is now suspended.
Here’s the lesson: make sure that you fully understand all the technical aspects of any new technological program, including social media, before you use. As noted above, ISIS isn’t the first terrorist group to have this problem, as a Taliban spokesman once made the same mistake. If it can happen to terrorists, it can happen to you: make sure you aren’t giving any information away that you shouldn’t when using social media.