Last Friday and Saturday, the Digital Research Division of Im Tirtzu monitored several online profiles it suspected of being operated by the Islamic Jihad and other suspicious entities attempting to hack smartphones and computers owned by Israeli citizens by posting malicious links.
The activity was first identified in groups of residents of the south, and later in groups affiliated with the National Union Party, and current affairs groups. Some of these accounts have been running for years and boast thousands of followers.
Dov Trachtman, Head of Digital Research, said: “This is a particularly disturbing phenomenon, whereby they lure Israeli users to click on malicious links posing as lottery sites, vacation booking, free sports videos, and most of all – dating sites.”
These malicious activities can gain the hackers access to personal information, social networks, classified and sensitive information if soldiers or officials, and even bank accounts. It is also conceivable that by remotely operating the innocent user’s camera and microphone, the hackers could collect degrading images that could be used for blackmail.
It is recommended – always be suspicious of links from strangers, even if they list 100 mutual friends and thousands of followers. Maintain strong antivirus software, and warn others about any suspicious activity.