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April 23, 2018 9:48 am

Israeli Cyber Firm Reveals: Hamas Planted Spyware in Fatah Phones

avatar by Israel Hayom / JNS.org

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A Hamas military drill in the Gaza Strip in March 2018. Photo: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.

JNS.org – An Israeli cyber firm revealed over the weekend that it had evidence that Hamas planted spyware in mobile phones owned by members of rival Palestinian faction Fatah.

“As part of our cyber-monitoring operations, conducted in an effort to alert our clients to potential attacks, we discovered that the link to Fatah’s application on Android, which is accessible through the organization’s website, was replaced with another link which installs spyware on users’ phones,” Boaz Dolev, CEO of the Tel Aviv-based ClearSky, told Israel Hayom.

The spyware “accesses information throughout the device, including text messages and emails; it can record conversations and prevent the phone from disconnecting itself from the app,” he said.

An analysis of the spyware led ClearSky’s team to its developer: Arid Viper, a hacker group affiliated with Hamas, which is also responsible for cyberattacks against a number of Israeli targets.

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“Hamas is sparing no effort to gain information on what is going on in the Palestinian Authority. Over the last two years, it has expanded into cyber efforts as well,” said Dolev.

“This [app] is a step up; it involved hacking into their [Fatah’s] website and embedding their [Arid Viper’s] software in it. This took planning,” he explained. “We continue to monitor many cyberattacks, which could be carried out by Hamas, the Iranians, or various other cyber criminals.”

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