Hamas allegedly tried to gather intelligence from unsuspecting Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers by hacking their phones with two fake dating apps, according to a report from The Guardian.
Israeli officials have stated that Hamas created two malicious dating apps —WinkChat and GlanceLove— and then used fake social media profiles in an attempt to entice IDF soldiers into downloading them.
Once downloaded, the apps allowed Hamas to access the phone’s information, location, and use the microphone and camera to collect intelligence. Hamas was primarily targeting Android devices, and according to a report from the New York Post, the apps were available from the Google Play store.
“Whatever you can do with your phone, the malicious content can do,” said an IDF military intelligence official during a briefing according to The Guardian.
In addition to the two dating apps, Hamas also created a third malware app that was disguised as a World Cup score tracker called Golden Cup.
The IDF claims that about 100 of its soldiers downloaded any of the apps and that no sensitive information was compromised. But the development of malware apps for use in espionage represents a new level of technological sophistication for the Palestinian terror organization.
IDF officials stated that Hamas had tried a similar plot last year using existing chat rooms that was much less complicated.