Military exercise goes phishing for movie extras
TOKYO — A military exercise in Internet security seeped into the real world in recent days, leading Air Force officials to declare that, no, Hollywood movie-makers are not looking for airmen on Guam as extras for the “Transformers 3” movie.
The phishing exercise, part of routine readiness training at Andersen Air Force Base, was meant to test airmen’s scrutiny of e-mail invitations that require people to provide personal information, according to officials at Andersen.
At least some failed that test, according to an internal e-mail sent to airmen after the late April exercise.
“Unfortunately, many of Andersen’s personnel responded ... and submitted their personal information to the website, and forwarded the information outside of Andersen,” the notification said.
Andersen officials last week were reluctant to talk about the phishing exercise, saying they do not release details about any training “plans, intentions and capabilities,” according to Lt. Col. Jeffrey Sorrell, the 36th Communications Squadron commander, who would only answer questions in writing.
The fake e-mail invitation went out sometime during the April 20-24 exercise. News of the so-called casting call made it to some outside websites, such as comicbookmovie.com.
On April 26, Andersen released a public statement with “regrets that there has been any confusion in the general public regarding this exercise phishing attempt.”
“There was no intent for this internal exercise event to interact with any websites outside of Andersen AFB,” Sorrell wrote.
Sorrell wrote that the scheme generated conversation among airmen both during and after the exercise.
“It has provided an excellent training opportunity for the wing to discuss the nature and the type of risk posed by phishing emails,” he wrote.
“Transformers 3” was to begin shooting in April, according to director Michael Bay’s website.