Dec 05, 2021

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A joint Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Shin Bet security agency operation has uncovered a Hamas network aiming to hack the cellphones of Israeli soldiers by posing as women on social media in order to gain sensitive information.

Israel’s “Operation Hunter’s Network” was launched after reports of several soldiers experiencing suspicious online activities. Senior military intelligence officials said that “these enemy accounts would reach out to IDF soldiers online, sometimes in romantic ways, asked them to download applications that compromised their cell phones, infecting them with advanced technological viruses,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

After the virus was downloaded onto the phone, it would stop answering messages from the IDF soldiers but would still remain on the phone in the background, giving the Hamas terror group access to pictures, locations, text messages and contacts. The virus also had access to the phone’s camera and microphone, and could record or take pictures without the soldier knowing it.

Following the investigation, the IDF concluded that it must raise awareness of these types of schemes and issued new guidelines to soldiers to be more aware of their online activities.