IS­RAEL Is­raeli sol­diers ‘caught in Ha­mas on­line honey trap’

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Is­rael’s mil­i­tary says it has un­cov­ered a scam by Ha­mas mil­i­tants to spy on its sol­diers by hack­ing their mo­bile phones af­ter pos­ing as women on so­cial me­dia. Mem­bers of the Pales­tinian group found the sol­diers on­line, then tried to strike up a friend­ship us­ing the fake iden­ti­ties, an of­fi­cer told re­porters. Dozens of sol­diers were per­suaded to in­stall an ap­pli­ca­tion that con­trolled their phone cam­eras and mi­cro­phones. How­ever, the of­fi­cer said Ha­mas was not able to un­cover any ma­jor se­crets. Most of the sol­diers were low-rank­ing, he added, and the scam­mers were in­ter­ested in in­for­ma­tion about Is­raeli army ma­noeu­vres, forces and weaponry around the Ha­mas-dom­i­nated Gaza Strip. The of­fi­cer, whose name was not given, said the pho­tos used in the scheme be­longed to real women, whose pic­tures and per­sonal de­tails were stolen from their so­cial me­dia pro­files. A pre­sen­ta­tion he gave to re­porters on Wed­nes­day in­cluded some of the pho­tos and flir­ta­tious mes­sages sent to the sol­diers. “Just a sec­ond, I’ll send you a photo, my dear,” wrote a scam­mer in one ex­change. “OK. Ha-ha,” the sol­dier replied, be­fore a photo of a blonde woman ap­peared. The scam­mer then sug­gested they both down­load “a sim­ple app that lets us have a video chat”. In re­al­ity, it gave the scam­mer con­trol of the sol­dier’s smart­phone. The Is­raeli mil­i­tary’s in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity unit un­cov­ered the scam af­ter get­ting com­plaints from sol­diers that sus­pi­cious women were get­ting them to down­load ap­pli­ca­tions and then go­ing silent. “It had po­ten­tial for great dam­age,” the of­fi­cer was quoted by the As­so­ci­ated Press as say­ing. “Un­til now, the dam­age was min­i­mal. But we wanted to pre­vent it from hap­pen­ing.” Ha­mas has so far not com­mented on the al­le­ga­tions.

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