The terror group took over cell phones by using fake online accounts of young women that lured the men to download spyware.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
The IDF foiled a new Hamas attempt this month to infiltrate soldiers’ phones by using fake accounts of young women on social networks to lure the men to download dangerous spyware, the army announced Sunday.
In an operation they called “End of the Game,” the Shabak’s Spectrum and Cyber Defense Division worked together with the Information Security Division in the IDF to quash the threat.
The Gaza terror organization had named their “temptresses” Hodaya Shetrit, Racheli Benisti and Adina Goldberg, said the IDF, who “worked” on Telegram, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms.
“The profile lures the soldier to download a game application, through which the attacker could gain complete control over the device,” explained a senior military intelligence officer who led the counterattack.
This included turning on victims’ microphone and camera without them knowing it, which would allow Hamas virtual access to military sites and conversations of possible military value. It would also give access to the victims’ contact lists and allow the terrorists to track their whereabouts.
According to the lieutenant colonel, the agencies’ combined efforts verified the hostile actions by using advanced sensors, and the operation was “a significant leap forward in the IDF’s cyber defense capabilities.”
“We changed the rules of the game that Hamas has been used to in the world of technology,” she said.
“Cyber space and the technological world are evolving and growing stronger, and these may pose a threat alongside opportunities,” the officer stressed. “Our job is to discover, expose and thwart the threats. We work to develop and adapt human resources, tools and capabilities to the evolving challenges.”
While several dozen soldiers were duped, she added, it seems that no significant damage was caused to the IDF’s information security.
This is the second time in the last two years that the IDF has foiled such Hamas “honeypot” attempts.
In February 2020, the IDF and Shabak managed to attack Hamas servers that had stored information stolen from hundreds of soldiers’ phones after they downloaded an app that beautiful-looking fictitious users had convinced them to use so that they could continue the budding relationships. The “girls” used the excuse that they were new immigrants to excuse any mistakes in their Hebrew.
The IDF constantly warns soldiers not to open unknown emails or click on any suspicious links, and to report anything they believe could be a danger online. In this case, a soldier reported a dubious conversation he had had on Telegram, setting off the successful defensive operation.