London, Dozens of Israeli soldiers have had their smartphones hacked by Hamas’ hackers posing as women, the Israeli military admitted but asserted that there had not been any “significant breach of information”, reports said on Monday.
The Israeli soldiers were sent fake photos of young females and lured into downloading an app without knowing it could access their handsets, a military spokesman said, the BBC reported.
There was no “significant breach of information” before the scam was foiled, he insisted.
The spokesman said that this was the third attempt in recent years by Hamas to infiltrate Israeli soldiers’ phones, but was the most sophisticated yet.
He said that the hackers had masqueraded as young women with imperfect Hebrew, claiming to be immigrants or to have visual or hearing impairments, in order to appear convincing.
After striking up friendships, the “women” would send links which they said would enable them to exchange photos, but which in reality caused the soldiers to download malware – programmes that can attack smartphones or computer devices.
Once the link was opened, the programme would install a virus which would give the hacker access to the phone’s data, including location, pictures and contacts, as well as remotely manipulate the phone to take photos and make recordings without the owner’s knowledge.
The spokesman said the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had uncovered the plot several months ago but had let it continue under surveillance until they shut it down.
The IDF has previously warned soldiers about the need for vigilance when using smartphones and issued guidelines to try to prevent hacking attempts.