IDF blames Palestinian hackers for spying on its soldiers with spyware infected World Cup and dating apps – Apparently, the group hacked its targets by using photos of attractive women.
The Israel Defense Force (IDF) is blaming Palestinian hackers for targeting smartphones of its soldiers with a spyware hidden in one World Cup and two dating apps. The aim of this campaign according to IDF was to spy on officials and around 100 soldiers were tricked into downloading these apps.
Israeli authorities said that so far no damage has been done but hackers from Hamas are actively targeting its soldiers by making fake profiles on social media platforms, befriending them and ticking into downloading spyware apps which ends up enabling their smartphones’ camera allowing hackers to spy and steal the data on the phone.
An IDF official told Times of Israel that Hamas is becoming sophisticated in their cyber attacks. One of the malicious apps that targeted soldiers was “Golden Cup” claiming to provide match schedule and other details regarding ongoing FIFA Football World Cup in Russia while other two were dating apps called Winkchat and Glancelove.
The latest campaign by Hamas was indeed sophisticated since it used stolen identities including photos of attractive women. The group then made Facebook profiles from the stolen data and carried out chats on WhatsApp and Facebook in the Hebrew language. The smartphone numbers used in the campaign were Israeli which made it easy for hackers to make their appearance credible.
The hackers would then flirt with soldiers and lure them into downloading malicious apps on their smartphones. One of the apps also took photos of its target without victim’s knowledge and send their real-time location to command and control (C&C) center allegedly set up by Hamas.
All apps were available on Play Store which have been removed by Google. However, IDF has warned soldiers that they should keep an eye on the situation and avoid falling for such scams.
A spyware app works in such a way that once installed on a targeted device it can silently spy on users, steal and send their data to attackers including financial information, emails, text messages, WhatsApp conversations, calls records and contacts list etc.
This, however, is not the first time when Hamas has been blamed for targeting IDF. Previously, in a similar campaign, photos of IDF female soldiers were used by hackers to breach Israeli Military servers. In another campaign, hackers from Hamas compromised smartphones of dozens of IDF soldiers using seductive images of attractive women.