At least one RAF serviceman has reportedly been fooled into giving up secrets after an agent posing as a female colleague sweet-talked him on Tinder.
According to The Mail on Sunday, sources within the air force have confirmed that the audacious scam had resulted in information being passed on to an as-yet unidentified third party.
The agent is said to have hacked into the dating profile of an RAF airwoman to fool several servicemen – and it is known to have been successful on at least one of them.
In an internal memo obtained by the newspaper, the air force’s principal security adviser warned about the risk of “online social engineering” and “online reconnaissance against social media profiles”.
The note said servicemen could be targeted by “skilled and convincing operatives” aiming to gather confidential information through “friendship, sympathy and/or obligation”.
While it is not known who was responsible, the memo notes that UK military policy and capabilities are “significant targets of interest for hostile state and non-state actors”.
The report said the Tinder sting took place just weeks after four of the F-35 jets arrived at RAF Marham in Norfolk from the US in early June, and Prince Charles was given the chance to sit in the cockpit himself during a recent visit.
The RAF has strongly denied that the secrets apparently given up were to do with F-35 jets new aircraft.
A spokesman said: “No F-35 secrets have been stolen, as the (Mail on Sunday) headline inaccurately claims. No F-35 information of a sensitive or classified nature has been disclosed via a dating site.
“The member of RAF personnel involved is not even associated with the F-35 programme.”