From Ars Technica:
In June 2010, the government was expressing real interest in social
networks. The Air Force issued a public request for “persona
management software,” which might sound boring until you realize that
the government essentially wanted the ability to have one agent run
multiple social media accounts at once.
It wanted 50 software licenses, each of which could support 10
personas, “replete with background, history, supporting details, and
cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographically
The software would allow these 50 cyberwarriors to peer at their
monitors all day and manipulate these 10 accounts easily, all “without
fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries.” The personas
would appear to come from all over the world, the better to infiltrate
jihadist websites and social networks, or perhaps to show up on
Facebook groups and influence public opinion in pro-US directions.
As the cyberwarriors worked away controlling their 10 personas, their
computers would helpfully provide “real-time local information” so
that they could play their roles convincingly.
While hackers get most of the attention for their rootkits and botnets
and malware, state actors use the same tools to play a different
game—the Great Game—and it could be coming soon to a computer near