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The fake app gave Hamas control over the soldiers’ phones, allowing activation by the terrorist group of the camera and microphone, and access to contacts, videos and photos, as well as Whatsapp conversations and emails.The soldiers were not aware that their phones had been hacked.Dubbed Viper RAT, the malware has specifically been designed to hijack Israeli soldiers’ Android-based smartphones and remotely exfiltrate data of high value, including photos and audio recordings, directly from the compromised devices.According to the security firms, IDF personnel had been compromised by social engineering techniques — where the soldiers were lured via Facebook Messenger and other social networks into entering communications with hackers who posed as attractive women from various countries like Canada, Germany, and Switzerland.Snap declined to comment, and Cimagine didn’t respond to a request to comment.Cimagine, based in Kfar Yehoshua, was founded four years ago by veteran technologists and product managers from telecommunications companies.The hacks were discovered following investigations by the Shin Bet security service and the Israel Defense Forces’ Information Security Department and Cyber Defense Unit.A truck rammed into a group of soldiers on a promenade in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem, killing at least four of them, in a vehicle-ramming attack on Sunday afternoon, police said.
The four soldiers — three women and one man — were later named as Lieutenant Yael Yekutiel (20) of Givatayim, Cadet Shir Hajaj (22) of Maaleh Adumim, Cadet Shira Tzur (20) from Haifa, and Cadet Erez Orbach (20) from Alon Shvut.
The app then scanned soldiers' smartphones and downloaded another malicious application that masqueraded as an update for one of the already installed apps, such as Whats App, and tricked victims to allow various permissions in order to carry out surveillance.
This, in turn, allowed the attackers to execute on demand commands, enabling them to control phone's microphone and camera, eavesdrop on soldiers' conversations, and peer into live camera footage.
Operatives for the Hamas terrorist group hacked into dozens of Israeli combat soldiers’ cellphones by posing as attractive Israeli women on Facebook.
Using Israeli women’s photos and identities stolen from social media, the operatives would initiate personal and intimate relationships with the soldiers and then ask them to download what they said was an application in order to video chat, according to reports.