By Shaun Waterman
The Washington Times
July 18, 2010
Call her the Mata Hari of cyberspace.
Robin Sage, according to her profiles on Facebook and other
social-networking websites, was an attractive, flirtatious 25-year-old
woman working as a "cyber threat analyst" at the U.S. Navy's Network
Warfare Command. Within less than a month, she amassed nearly 300
social-network connections among security specialists, military
personnel and staff at intelligence agencies and defense contractors.
A handful of pictures on her Facebook page included one of her at a
party posing in thigh-high knee socks and a skull-and-crossbones bikini
captioned, "doing what I do best."
"Sorry to say, I'm not a Green Beret! Just a cute girl stopping by to
say hey!" she rhymingly proclaimed on her Twitter page, concluding, "My
life is about info sec [information security] all the way!"
And so it apparently was. She was an avid user of LinkedIn - a
social-networking site for professionals sometimes described as
"Facebook for grown-ups." Her connections on it included men working for
the nation's most senior military officer, the chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, and for one of the most secret government agencies of
all, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which builds, launches
and runs U.S. spy satellites. Others included a senior intelligence
official in the U.S. Marine Corps, the chief of staff for a U.S.
congressman, and several senior executives at defense contractors,
including Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. Almost all
were seasoned security professionals.
But Robin Sage did not exist.
Her profile was a ruse set up by security consultant Thomas Ryan as part
of an effort to expose weaknesses in the nation's defense and
intelligence communities - what Mr. Ryan calls "an independent 'red
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