This is the fourth time in the last 5 years when hackers have reportedly used such tactics against the Israeli military.
Hackers from Palestinian militant group Hamas managed to lure Israeli soldiers into falling prey to their latest Honey Trap operation in which several hundred Israeli soldiers got their smartphones infected with malware.
According to Israeli military’s spokesperson Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, the attack was thwarted but by then hackers had already infected hundreds of smartphones belonging to their soldiers.
The hackers posed as women to send out malware and receive crucial information about the device as well as controlling key functions of the phone including camera and microphone, and accessing stored messages and contact information.
To carry out this operation, Hamas used around 6 dummy accounts created to impersonate young and attractive Israeli women while they used social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram to chat with the soldiers.
To share intimate pictures, the hackers (impersonating as females) asked soldiers to download three apps, the real purpose of which was to send device data, location data and device ID to the hackers.
The Israeli military released an official statement regarding this attack, in which the organization admitted that several hundreds of Israeli military personnel (including soldiers and officers) got their mobile devices infected with malware but “no security damage was caused” by this incident.
Hamas hasn’t yet responded to the reports of Israeli military blaming the Palestinian group for targeting soldiers.
According to IDF, these are some of the photos used by Hamas hackers to lure its soldiers:
The name used by hackers for this photo was Yael Azoulay:
The name used by hackers for this photo was Maria Jacobova:
The name used by hackers for this photo was Noa Danon:
The name used by hackers for this photo was Eden Ben Ezra:
The name used by hackers for this photo was Rebecca Aboxis:
The name used by hackers for this photo was Sarah Orlova:
Not for the first time
This is not the first time when Palestinian hackers have targeted IDF using photos of women. Previously, in 2015, several computer networks belonging to the Israeli military were penetrated by Arabic-speaking hackers under a four-month spying campaign.
The modus operandi of these hackers involved using a careful combination of spyware along with deceiving emails attached with tempting images of IDF women soldiers. In 2017, Hamas hackers posted seductive pictures of young, beautiful Israeli women on social media to attract IDF soldiers to get classified information from them.
As a result, dozens of IDF soldiers had their phones compromised. In 2018, Hamas was able to hack smartphones of over 100 IDF soldiers after carrying out a campaign involving seductive photos of women.