London, Sep 10 (IANS) The Taliban are "posing as pretty girls" on social networking website Facebook in an attempt to befriend soldiers on the web and gather crucial information, Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.
Australian and coalition troops have been given pre-deployment warnings that they are being targeted by the Taliban, pretending to be "attractive women", the report said.
The report released by the Australian government also warned that geo-tagging -- where websites secretly log the location of where a post is made or a photo is uploaded -- poses a particular threat.
According to the Daily Mail, the report titled "Review of Social Media and Defence" found that personnel had a false sense of security where they excessively relied on privacy settings to protect confidential information.
Soldiers' families and friends were also unwittingly putting personnel at risk and compromising missions by sharing information online, it said.
"Media personnel and enemies create fake profiles to gather information. For example, the Taliban have used pictures of attractive women as the front of their Facebook profiles and have befriended soldiers," the report warned.
Many of the 1,577 defence personnel surveyed for the report had no idea that enemies may pose as school friends or attractive women.