Israel accuses Hamas of using spy apps to target soldiers

06 Juillet, 2018, 15:42 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Israel accuses Hamas of using spy apps to target soldiers

"Upon investigating the reports, we uncovered hostile infrastructure that Hamas tried to use to keep in contact with IDF soldiers and tempt them to download apps that were harmful, and use the soldiers to extract classified information".

The officer, speaking on condition of anonymity under military regulations, said the Hamas cyber efforts to snoop on soldiers were nothing new.

The three Android apps, which have since been removed from the Google Play Store, were created to infect soldiers' phones with data-stealing malware and turn on cameras and microphones for live spying, Reuters quoted two Israeli military security officers as saying. They were then asked to download one of two fake dating apps named WinkChat and GlanceLove.

According to Haaretz the move comes two weeks after Israeli Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan sent a letter to Twitter's CEO and executive chairman claiming the social media giant was "largely irresponsive to requests by the Israeli authorities to remove terrorist content and shut down terrorist accounts".

"It was actually a very good one", the official said. The third, Golden Cup, was filled with information about the World Cup taking place in Russian Federation. This was reported on the website of the IDF.

The first two were dating apps called Glancelove and Winkchat, while the third one, Golden Cup, was intensely marketed on social media recently as an app meant to update users on the World Cup being held in Russian Federation. Once downloaded, the apps allowed Hamas to access data on the phone and operate it remotely.

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While it could not give exact numbers on how many soldiers were allegedly approached or duped into conversation with Hamas's cyberoperatives, the army said hundreds of recruits reported being approached through their Facebook accounts.

The applications have been deleted from the Google play store by the tech giant, which added that their awareness of the potential security risk that apps pose has increased, especially since the army had informed them of previous hacking attempts.

Hamas had no immediate comment on the plot, according to the AP.

The photos used on social media to initially reach out to the soldiers belonged to real women whose photos and personal details were stolen from their Facebook profiles.

In a statement Friday morning, the IDF said it had transferred 300 tents, 13 tons of food, 15 tons of baby formula, medical equipment and 30 tons of clothing in an operation that lasted several hours and took place at four different locations along the Golan Heights border.

The military has also recommended that if a soldier is approached by a stranger online, be aware that it might be an attempt to honeypot them, especially if the suspicious individual is unable to meet in person.

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