Hamas used fake dating apps to gain intel on Israeli soldiers

Heartbroken over Hamas IDF intel uncovers more Hamas honeypots

Heartbroken over Hamas IDF intel uncovers more Hamas honeypots

The official said the Israeli army intelligence unit became aware of the malicious dating apps in January and has been working to prevent the infiltration in an operation called Broken Heart, either a reference to those who might face heartbreak when they realize the people they have been conversing with are really enemy operatives or to when Hamas realizes that Israel has uncovered the alleged operation.

Israeli Defense Forces launched Operation Broken Heart to investigate and eliminate the threat in response to reports from soldiers receiving unusual messages, the Washington Post reports.

The soldiers were contacted via phony Facebook accounts, often with the stolen identities of young women, asking to chat on Whatsapp. "Once again Hamas failed", the officer said in a briefing to reporters at military headquarters Wednesday. The third, Golden Cup, was filled with information about the World Cup taking place in Russian Federation.

The apps compromised the Android phones of the Israeli servicemen with Trojan viruses that allowed them access to their location, pictures, text messages and contact lists. Hamas would also be able to record conversations using the phone's microphone. Fewer than 100 troops fell for the ruse, installing at least one of the apps on their phones.

The IDF said it had been monitoring the "honeytrap" campaign for months, but did not provide any details of why it believed Hamas was responsible. IDF and Shin Bet, one of the primary components of Israel's intelligence community that is also known as the Israel Security Agency or ISA, launched a joint endeavor called Operation Hunter's Network a year ago.

According to the head of Israel's Information Security Department, dozens of reports of similar interactions began flooding in, exposing an entire Hamas cell tasked with using social media to extract intel from the phones of young soldiers.

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He said a third sham app, called Golden Cup and promoted as a World Cup live scores and fixtures aid, was advertised to soldiers in Hebrew on Facebook.

While it could not give exact numbers on how many soldiers were allegedly approached or duped into conversation with Hamas's cyberoperatives, the army said hundreds of recruits reported being approached through their Facebook accounts. They were then shared links to the apps, which were uploaded to the real Google Play Store but have now been removed.

The military also said a new awareness program on cyber-security has been implemented.

"Once again Hamas tried to fool our soldiers on social networks".

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and has fought several wars with Israel, declined comment.

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