Hackers deployed by the Iranian government’s proxy terrorist group Hezbollah infiltrated mobile devices worldwide, obtaining access to the personal information of unsuspected social media users, according to the Czech Security Intelligence Service.
The Hezbollah hackers used a “catfishing” technique, posing on Facebook as attractive women to seduce users into downloading a “more private and secure application,” reported Radio Prague, according to the International Project on Terrorism.
Installing the application gave the hackers access to sensitive information such as GPS data, photographs, contacts and communications.
The hackers could also secretly enable the recording function on a particular mobile device to spy on the target.
The Czech intelligence service said it cooperated with international partners to identify and disarm servers used in Hezbollah’s cyber espionage campaign.
Miroslav Mares, professor of international politics at Masrayk University, noted the Czech Republic has traditionally been regarded as an ally of Israel and the United States in actions to combat a growing cyber espionage effort by Hezbollah, which is on the European Union’s terrorist list.
IPT said the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has used fake dating applications to seduce Israeli soldiers and install spyware on their phones.
Israel’s YNet News cited a senior Israeli intelligence official in July who disclosed that Israel “identified a similar method in the January 2017 when the IDF uncovered that a Gazan terrorist group lures soldiers by using fake women’s profiles before infecting their phones with spyware.”
Nitzan Ziv, vice president of Check Point Software Technologies, explained that the “minute the spy software is installed on a smartphone the attackers can hear everything that is going on in the room.”
Ziv said the hackers can have access “to each file downloaded on the phone, activate the phone’s camera and get the specific location of the phone.”