Primoris Era, the Twitter Honeypot?

 

I would usually introduce a story like this by saying, “I couldn’t make this up,” except in this case, I know for a fact that I could make it up, because I wrote a whole novel with a remarkably similar plot. So actually, I have a proven track record of making this kind of thing up, but as it happens, this time I didn’t. 

PrimorisEra was the avatar of someone I followed on Twitter. She was, according to her profile,

1st Lady Of Missiles

Doyenne of Air & Space, Missile Defense & Arms Control; Rocket Scientist & hints of me; intelligent, well educated, outspoken & sarcastic; views are solely mine

And according to her photographs, she was pornographically good-looking and apt to caper about in fishnet stockings. I always found that a little suspect, but I just figured PrimorisEra was a nerdy defense analyst who spoke Russian, liked missiles and liked pretending he was a chick. Believe it or not, “honey trap” never occurred to me. And if it didn’t occur to me, to whom would it occur?

It occurred, apparently, to an authentic hot chick on Twitter with some real connection to the US national security apparatus. She goes by the name FrostinaDC. She got into a spitting catfight with PrimorisEra over scuba wetsuits–I couldn’t make this up, except demonstrably, I could–then denounced her as a honeypot. You all know what that is, right? Think Anna Chapman. 

FrostinaDC @PrimorisEra Your feed is riddled with lies about yourself & I can assure you… the house of cards will fall. 

PrimorisEra shortly thereafter disappeared in a cloud of mystery–along with many avatars of surprisingly hot women with an oddly nerdy angle on national security. These accounts were wiped. Of course, they left behind telltale clues, because nothing disappears completely on the Internet. And a task-force of self-appointed Twitter sleuths began digging:

Shaqton @FrostinaDC | PrimorisEra and LadyCaesar are clearly the same person http://j.mp/gx7brnhttp://j.mp/emkZKy no doubt about it now.

MT @samlagrone: After couple hours of digging @primorisera. The woman’s name attached to account has no record of being current DoD employee

And, indeed, the PrimorisEra feed had certain odd inconsistencies. Many, really. Not one of which I can claim to have spotted, despite my credentials as a professional spy novelist. Among other things, PrimorisEra claimed to have won a beauty pageant that never occurred. Someone told me that a good deal of what she said about missiles was lifted verbatim from various defense publications. I can’t confirm that. I always figured it sounded credible, but that’s consistent with her (or him, or it) lifting it all from various defense publications. And frankly, I wasn’t giving it much thought. 

doylecjd In hindsight, was it bad to DM @PrimorisEra my SS#, CC#’s, and mothers maiden name? She just seemed curious?

Galrahn @PrimorisEra sighting? MT @BreakingNews: Hundreds of anti-nuclear protesters stage ‘die in’ on the Franco-German border http://t.co/XbxtjFo

 c4i Wondering what the politically correct term in DoD IA OpSec classes will be for “Don’t think with your [expletive deleted]”; – Robin Sage @primorisEra

If you like spy mysteries, click here.  Tell me what you think: Was PrimorisEra a honeytrap? A terrifically enterprising 14-year-old kid? A middle-aged cross-dressing nerd? Or a spectacularly good-looking, semi-naked multilingual missile defense expert who got on the wrong side of a catfight? 

Whatever the case, quite some number of men are still trying to send her their best missile tips. 

Members have made 28 comments.

  1. Inactive

    Burn Notice returns this June (or July) on USA. Characters welcome.

    You should really kill more people, Claire, just for street cred.

    • #1
    • April 26, 2011 at 11:07 am
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  2. Inactive
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    If you like spy mysteries, click here. Tell me what you think: Was PrimorisEra a honeytrap? A terrifically enterprising 14-year-old kid? A middle-aged cross-dressing nerd? Or a spectacularly good-looking, semi-naked multilingual missile defense expert who got on the wrong side of a catfight?

    It’s been my experience that spectacularly good-looking semi-naked women on the Internet almost always turn out to be middle-aged male nerds in RL (not that I have much experience, of course) – so that is the most likely explanation here.

    • #2
    • April 26, 2011 at 11:08 am
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  3. Coolidge

    Oh, Claire, that last line was a beauty…

    As for honey pots, it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book and the internet makes them even easier to do. In this case, it could easily be a a guy using a clever way to get attention. There are all sorts of gimmicks like this out there, so let the buyer beware. I have followed various mysterious bloggers at times, and you just have to weigh your interests in them according to some competing principles. They are:

    • Judge the content on its accuracy rather than who is behind it, but…
    • Consider how the motives of the writer impact the content.
    • Corroborate the information through other sources when possible.
    • Enjoy it for what it is and nothing more.
    • #3
    • April 26, 2011 at 11:14 am
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  4. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Attention: I am now opening a contest to find a CoC-compliant photo with which to illustrate this story.

    • #4
    • April 26, 2011 at 11:18 am
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  5. Contributor

    I didn’t know about @PrimorisEra but as soon as I found out about him (come on, we all know it’s a him), I hoped for a Claire Berlinski post just like this. Thank you.

    • #5
    • April 26, 2011 at 11:22 am
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  6. Inactive

    The best source for CoC-compliant-ish pics is Theo Spark – I hesitate to link to any of em, as it is probably a breach of Ricochet etiquette.

    • #6
    • April 26, 2011 at 11:30 am
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  7. Inactive

    Maybe she ran off with a Nigerian prince who needed someone he could wire money to.

    • #7
    • April 26, 2011 at 11:34 am
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  8. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author
    David Williamson: The best source for CoC-compliant-ish pics is Theo Spark – I hesitate to link to any of em, as it probably a breach of Ricochet etiquette. · Apr 26 at 11:30am

    Oh, man. There’s millions of them and none of them are quite right. May I outsource this task to someone who would enjoy combing through hundreds of photos of half-naked honeypot avatars to find the perfect illustration? There’s a reason I never paid close attention to @PrimorisEra.

    • #8
    • April 26, 2011 at 11:36 am
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  9. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: I didn’t know about @PrimorisEra but as soon as I found out about him (come on, we all know it’s a him), I hoped for a Claire Berlinski post just like this. Thank you. · Apr 26 at 11:22am

    Oh, you’re so welcome. The alternative was spending the afternoon contemplating real Syrian missiles. I needed the break something fierce.

    • #9
    • April 26, 2011 at 11:39 am
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  10. Member

    I can’t possibly respond to this Rico post without violating the CoC. So I won’t.

    • #10
    • April 26, 2011 at 11:45 am
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  11. Inactive

    How do we know you’re not some male honey pot in fishnet stockings, Claire? I don’t know what would be worse, you as some alter ego of Rob Long or Peter Robinson. The very thought is mind boggling. Another thing, with your unique understanding of Muslim/European demographics you could even be Mark Steyn in drag. Ever been French kissed by Leonard Bernstein? Go ahead make my day, Claire, prove to the Ricochet audience that you are not Mark Steyn. And don’t even think about singing any show tunes from now on.

    • #11
    • April 26, 2011 at 11:50 am
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  12. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author
    Cas Balicki: How do we know you’re not some male honey pot in fishnet stockings, Claire? I don’t know what would be worse, you as some alter ego of Rob Long or Peter Robinson. The very thought is mind boggling. Another thing, with your unique understanding of Muslim/European demographics you could even be Mark Steyn in drag. Ever been French kissed by Leonard Bernstein? Go ahead make my day, Claire, prove to the Ricochet audience that you are not Mark Steyn. And don’t even think about singing any show tunes from now on. · Apr 26 at 11:50am

    Go on–ask Rob, Peter or Mark whether they’ve met me in person.

    • #12
    • April 26, 2011 at 11:54 am
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  13. Inactive

    I did once see Claire on C-span, so I am pretty sure tis she (though she was fully dressed at the time, and she was behind a podium).

    • #13
    • April 26, 2011 at 11:55 am
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  14. Inactive
    David Williamson

    FeliciaB

    Pseudodionysius: I can’t possibly respond to this Rico post without violating the CoC. So I won’t. · Apr 26 at 11:45am
    Me too, Kitty. Me too. Mine was a great comment sure to elicit much laughter, but I value my Ricochet membership more than being the class clown. · Apr 26 at 6:28pm
    Now you have to tell us, Felicia – I’d like to think the Ricochet police wont expel you from our walled garden. · Apr 26 at 11:54pm

    Oh, they would in a heartbeat. Plus, I’m scared of Claire. She and Sarah Palin are a lot alike.

    • #14
    • April 27, 2011 at 1:07 am
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  15. Member

    Until I see Claire’s birth certificate, I’m a sceptic.

    • #15
    • April 27, 2011 at 1:13 am
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  16. Inactive

    “Whatever the case, quite some number of men are still trying to send her their best missile tips.”

    – Helpful and persistent lads

    • #16
    • April 27, 2011 at 1:17 am
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  17. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author
    FeliciaB Oh, they would in a heartbeat. Plus, I’m scared of Claire. She and Sarah Palin are a lot alike. · Apr 27 at 1:07am

    You betcha! Actually, we’re the same person–but that stays between us.

    • #17
    • April 27, 2011 at 2:00 am
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  18. Thatcher
    Dave Molinari: Oh, Claire, that last line was a beauty…

    As for honey pots, it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book….

    It is one of the oldest tricks in The Book! Does Samson and Delilah ring a bell?

    • #18
    • April 27, 2011 at 2:39 am
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  19. Contributor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Attention: I am now opening a contest to find a CoC-compliant photo with which to illustrate this story. · Apr 26 at 11:18am

    It should be a CoC violation to use the term “pornographically good looking” without supplying a picture.

    • #19
    • April 27, 2011 at 3:19 am
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  20. Member

    The actions of secret agents and secret agencies fail to enchant precisely because they are secret: who can tell if they ever work? Does anybody fall for this stuff? Well, maybe. Hey, I’ve seen Eastern-Hemisphere women; an Eastern-Hemisphere guy has got to be pretty desperate.

    Out of an undoubtedly fantastical sense of patriotism, I once thought of setting up a honeypot on my own site. I’d create a page with “octanitrocubane” on it, and some other things only a knowledgeable chemist would be fishing for, like “Favorskii rearrangement catalyst.” And then I’d check my visitors’ log and see if…what? Anyone at an Iranian IP address had looked in? This is such a stretch. Besides, even if anyone had, to whom would I report this? Does anyone have faith in the ability of U.S. officialdom to “get” any of this?

    • #20
    • April 27, 2011 at 4:52 am
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  21. Inactive
    Pseudodionysius: I can’t possibly respond to this Rico post without violating the CoC. So I won’t. · Apr 26 at 11:45am

    Me too, Kitty. Me too. Mine was a great comment sure to elicit much laughter, but I value my Ricochet membership more than being the class clown.

    • #21
    • April 27, 2011 at 6:28 am
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  22. Inactive
    FeliciaB
    Pseudodionysius: I can’t possibly respond to this Rico post without violating the CoC. So I won’t. · Apr 26 at 11:45am
    Me too, Kitty. Me too. Mine was a great comment sure to elicit much laughter, but I value my Ricochet membership more than being the class clown. · Apr 26 at 6:28pm

    Now you have to tell us, Felicia – I’d like to think the Ricochet police wont expel you from our walled garden.

    • #22
    • April 27, 2011 at 11:54 am
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  23. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author
    David Williamson: I did once see Claire on C-span, so I am pretty sure tis she (though she was fully dressed at the time, and she was behind a podium). · Apr 26 at 11:55am

    As I always am, David. We are on Ricochet where the women are always fully dressed.

    • #23
    • April 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm
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  24. Inactive
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    Cas Balicki: How do we know you’re not some male honey pot in fishnet stockings, Claire? I don’t know what would be worse, you as some alter ego of Rob Long or Peter Robinson. The very thought is mind boggling. Another thing, with your unique understanding of Muslim/European demographics you could even be Mark Steyn in drag. Ever been French kissed by Leonard Bernstein? Go ahead make my day, Claire, prove to the Ricochet audience that you are not Mark Steyn. And don’t even think about singing any show tunes from now on. · Apr 26 at 11:50am
    Go on–ask Rob, Peter or Mark whether they’ve met me in person. · Apr 26 at 11:54am

    Just like any good honey-pot spy you fall back on the seeing-is-believing tactic, while all the while you project a false image. Your being seen does not prove who you are anymore than my seeing you proves who I am. Just ask President Obama, we spent a whole campaign looking at him and we still don’t know who he is or even if he has a birth certificate.

    • #24
    • April 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm
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  25. Inactive

    “but I just figured PrimorisEra was a nerdy defense analyst who spoke Russian,”

    wouldn’t it be more trendy to speak Chinese?

    • #25
    • April 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm
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  26. Inactive
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    As I always am, David. We are on Ricochet where the women are always fully dressed. · Apr 26 at 12:02pm

    All the men are good looking, and the children are above average.

    Though Claire had her hair up once. Does that count?

    • #26
    • April 27, 2011 at 12:45 pm
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  27. Inactive
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    FeliciaB Oh, they would in a heartbeat. Plus, I’m scared of Claire. She and Sarah Palin are a lot alike. · Apr 27 at 1:07am
    You betcha! Actually, we’re the same person–but that stays between us. · Apr 27 at 2:00am

    Great. Another crush.

    • #27
    • April 28, 2011 at 4:11 am
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