Wired commentator Bruce Schneier explains how the FARC rebel communiques were intercepted and manipulated, thus facilitating the dramatic rescue of 15 hostages, most notably former Columbian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.
Using the “Man-in-the-Middle” attack, two different groups of FARC rebels believed that they were communicating with one-another, but in reality they were communicating directly to Army Intelligence, who could then relay the information between the two groups.
Interestingly, the “Man-in-the-Middle” attack is the same strategy that is becoming more common with identity thieves. For example, an identity thief intercepts a legitimate bank request to the user to verify user information (such as a password). The attacker passes it to the unsuspecting user and the user responds to the attacker, who then relays the response back to the bank. The bank then believes it is communicating with the user, and the attacker is free to send transactions directly to the bank.