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How Hamas trapped Israeli soldiers in an online ‘honey trap’

By Shubir Rishi

Hamas operatives allegedly used fake online identities and photos of young women to lure the soldiers. "Just a second, I'll send you a photo, my dear," one 'woman' wrote on Facebook, according to an Israeli officer briefing reporters on how the alleged scam worked, the Nationalpost reported.

Israeli soldiers

Hamas operatives created 40 profiles of 'young women', presenting them as veteran Israeli military personnel currently overseas, but soon planning to return to Israel. A friend request would be sent to the soldier, along with the photo of a beautiful woman, which could not be easily ignored.

If the soldiers insisted on a phone number, they were politely told by the 'woman' that they didn't have access to one, and hence, would ask them to install the piece of malicious software.

According to several reports, dozens of soldiers were lured into installing this app that controlled their microphones and phone cameras. This was because the 'woman' promised these soldiers that they would 'video chat' with them.

After the app was installed, the 'woman' would stop responding to the soldiers' messages, but the phone's contents would be left vulnerable to Hamas operatives, as they could now have access to photos, the GPS location of the soldiers, text messages and the phone book.

Such was the app designed, that it would not only lie undetected, it would also record the soldiers' personal conversations, take photos and install other malicious software - all without the soldier's knowledge.

To make it more convincing, the operatives used Hebrew slang so that it appeared their victims were indeed speaking to Israeli women.

The operation was blown when several soldiers of the same unit were approached by the same 'woman', leading them to report the matter to the data security team. Several operations had to be modified, or cancelled as a result of this, an officer told Bloomberg.

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