Operation Rebound: Israel thwarts Hamas cyber-attack targeting soldiers

BREAKING: The IDF thwarted an attempted cyber-attack by Hamas terrorists posing as attractive young women on social networks, targeting soldiers and asking to download an app that would have access to their phone location, microphone and camera.

This is the third Hamas honeypot operation thwarted by the IDF and Shin Bet since 2017.

In recent months the IDF identified an attempt to hack IDF soldier’s phones though Telegram, Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp. The IDF identified six main characters used by Hamas terrorists. The fake accounts presented themselves as new immigrants to Israel to explain their broken Hebrew.

Among the characters: Sara Orlova, Maria Jacobova, Eden Ben Ezra, Noa Danon, Yael Azoulay and Rebecca Abuksis. They used same name on various platforms to boost their credibility.

The IDF said that Hamas terrorists have edited the pictures, making it more difficult to find the original source.

Hamas terrorists used three social networking apps: GrixyApp, ZatuApp and Catch&See. The apps were not accessible through app stores, they could only be downloaded from links sent to the soldiers.

The apps asked for permission to several features on the user’s phone, including location, camera and microphone.

The terror group was able to download and transfer files and have access to the phone’s GPS, allowing them to know the infected device’s location.

“As far as we recognize now, no security damage has been done. In cases where we have identified that such damage may have occurred, we acted immediately. We have also identified that Hamas has expanded its websites and appealed to additional populations, unlike previous incidents in which they focused on fighters,” the IDF said.

“The identification was made possible, among other things, by tracking one of the figures identified in previous events and which we did not reveal at the time with the aim of monitoring the terrorist organization’s technological infrastructure and identifying a return to activity against our soldiers.”

“Hamas created fake social media profiles, using photos including this one, in an attempt to hack the phones of IDF soldiers. What Hamas didn’t know was that Israeli intelligence caught onto their plot, tracked the malware & downed Hamas’ hacking system”. #CatfishCaught” . the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit tweeted.