THere are hundreds of thousands of fake accounts on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
But LinkedIn has recently discovered one fake account with a twist.
According to reports by the Associated Press, the account belonging to Katie Jones (pictured) is believed to have been created with artificial intelligence as a way to infiltrate Washington D.C.
Jones listed her profession as Russia and Eurasia fellow at top think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
However there is no record of her employment here, nor is there evidence of her claimed degree in Russian studies from the University of Michigan.
It is believed the image used for the Katie Jones account was created using a ‘generative adversarial network’, which uses complex algorithms to create facial images from scratch.
This means nothing will show up if a reverse image search is completed.
“It smells a lot like some sort of state-run operation,” said Alliance of Democracies Foundationprogram director Jonas Parello-Plesner.
Of her 52 connections were a deputy assistant secretary of state, a senior aide to a senator and a prominent economist, Paul Winfree.
Winfree is currently being considered for a seat on the Federal Reserve, and is a former deputy director of President Donald Trump’s domestic policy council.
“I’m probably the worst LinkedIn user in the history of LinkedIn,” he told AP. “I literally accept every friend request that I get.”
But this accept-all mentality could be more dangerous than once thought, as the Katie Jones LinkedIn account is most likely part of a network of spies on the network.
US National Counterintelligence and Security Centre director William Evanina said mass scale espionage efforts like this one are more efficient for adversaries.
“Instead of dispatching spies to some parking garage in the U.S to recruit a target, it’s more efficient to sit behind a computer in Shanghai and send out friend requests to 30,000 targets,” Evanina said.