Israeli cyber security firm ClearSky Cyber Security revealed last week that the Hamas terrorist group has been trying to hack Israelis through a fake version of the Color Red missile-attack warning app.
The revelation comes at a time when the worst bout of violence between Israel and Hamas since 2014 is taking place, with the terrorist organisation launching approximately 180 projectiles into Israel.
Evidently Hamas is attempting to take advantage of these missile attacks and has put out a counterfeit app that mimics the real software that warns Israelis of incoming rockets and mortars, said ClearSky Cyber Security.
“As part of our monitoring activity in the cyberspace, which provides our customers with warnings of attacks and helps them protect themselves from such attacks, we have discovered the phishing websites that lead to the downloading of malicious software. When you download the application, it takes over your cell phone and allows the operator to track the device, record its location, take photos, record audio, make calls, send messages and any other action that the device knows how to perform,” said ClearSky Cyber Security CEO Boaz Dolev.
Dolev added that, “according to a series of data that was collected, we can see that Hamas scheduled the attack as the cyber arm of the current rocket attack on Israel.”
He also warned that once the app took control of a mobile phone it was impossible to remove, even if the app was deleted.
“Applications should be downloaded only from the official application stores. Unfortunately, it appears as though if the software has already been downloaded, deleting the application will not help and will not remove the malicious software from the devices, and the cellular phone will continue to transmit the data to the operator,” Dolev said.
ClearSky Cyber Security warned that this could be the first stage of a concentrated effort by Hamas to launch cyber attacks against Israel as part of the ongoing round of violence.
ClearSky Cyber Security did say, however, that the malicious app has been discovered at an early stage and so far has not infected very many mobile phones.