| ||IDF Thwarts Hamas Attempt to Lure Soldiers with Fake Dating App
| ||United with Israel Staff
Hamas cyber terrorists operated with stolen identities and engaged soldiers in an attempt to turn cell phones into weapons. Thanks to IDF soldiers’ vigilance, there was no damage to Israel’s security.
The IDF has recently exposed a Hamas plot to spy on soldiers by enticing them to download a dating app which was in fact a malicious program that gave the terrorists full access to their phones.
The IDF’s Information Security Department revealed Hamas’ scheme in which cyber terrorists operated with stolen identities in order to talk to troops, get their personal information, retrieve sensitive security information, and download an application that turned cell phones into tools for collecting intelligence.
In January, the IDF received a report from a soldier about a suspicious figure on Facebook named Lina Kramer, who had engaged a soldier on the social media platform and later on Whatsapp. She even had an Israeli phone number.
While this incident was similar to previous ones, there was one striking difference. Instead of trying to entice the soldier to download a virus through an illegitimate source, the terrorist asked the soldier to download an app called “GlanceLove” from the official application store.
Colonel A., the Head of the Information Security Department said that “not long after the first attacker approached us, we’d already begun receiving dozens of reports from soldiers about suspicious figures and apps on social networks. Upon investigating the reports, we uncovered hostile infrastructure that Hamas tried to use to keep in contact with IDF soldiers and tempt them to download apps that were harmful, and use the soldiers to extract classified information.”
In some cases, the terrorists claimed they were new immigrants to cover up their lacking Hebrew.
Once the infected application was downloaded, terrorists could collect contacts from the phone, enable access to SMS messages and call histories, locate the phone and control the volume in order to listen to the user, download and remove files and applications, collect files and pictures, and even take pictures from the device.
Thanks to IDF soldiers’ vigilance, the terrorists failed.
In response, the IDF has launched Operation Broken Heart.
“In the framework of Operation Broken Heart, we have a number of tasks: first and foremost, to refresh the guidelines for intelligence activity online for all soldiers,” Col. A explained. “Second, to operate a regular operations room to receive reports and to use the wisdom of the masses to continue identifying other suspicious characters and apprehensions. Thanks to the soldiers’ awareness, alertness, and willingness to report the incidents, Israel’s security was not damaged.”
Looked Innocent at First
“It was a normal day,” said IDF soldier identified only as L. “I got a message on Facebook that looked innocent at first, from someone named Lina Kramer, we started talking on Facebook, then we moved to Whatsapp, and then she asked me to download an app called GlanceLove. When I looked at her profile, I saw that it had content, and that she had an Israeli phone number.”
“At this stage, my suspicion was final, and I decided to consult a friend who helped me understand that it was a fictitious profile with malicious intentions,” L said. “From there I turned to the information security officer in my unit who helped me.”
What L didn’t expect was that his report would expose an entire Hamas terror cell that uses social media as a means of penetrating the IDF soldiers’ personal devices and extracting sensitive information.
“I was proud that I helped security forces stop Hamas and prevented other soldiers from becoming victims. If a stranger starts talking to you on Facebook or Instagram, always look with a suspicious eye and always question the situation,” said L..
To protect Israel’s security, the Information Security Department issued updated protocols for encounters with fictitious profiles. Additionally, the department has made an effort to raise awareness of this issue and emphasize the importance of soldiers reporting suspicious incidents.
This is not the first time Hamas has attempted to attack Israel’s security through social media. Last year, Operation Hunters Battle exposed Hamas false identities on Facebook.