LOVE IS WAR – Would you like to do some internet dating with Hamas?
The Israeli military said Tuesday it had uncovered a plot by Hamas militants to spy on soldiers by befriending them on social media and then luring them into downloading fake dating applications that gave Hamas access to their smartphones.
A senior intelligence officer said Hamas initially reached out to the soldiers through Facebook, often posing as young women, and then moved the relationship over to the WhatsApp texting service. Following dozens of reports from soldiers receiving unusual messages, the military launched operation “Broken Heart.”
The military said it had uncovered three Hamas-operated apps on Google Play that had been downloaded about 100 times by soldiers since the beginning of the year.
The officer, speaking on condition of anonymity under military regulations, said the Hamas cyber efforts to snoop on soldiers were nothing new. But its methods of infecting phones with malicious applications were a significant upgrade since they could seize control of a phone’s contents, potentially acquiring classified information or compromising images that could be used to blackmail soldiers.
The military said the first two apps were called Glancelove and Winkchat, supposed dating apps. The third, Golden Cup, was filled with information about the World Cup taking place in Russia.
I’ve seen my fair share of fake profiles on Tinder and other dating sites and apps but I sincerely hope I never chatted with a bearded Islamist blow-up boy pretending to be Kylie, 33, from Bardon.