Threat Watch

Hamas

Hamas has attempted yet again to target Israeli citizens through cyber-attacks.  Hackers tied to Hamas created a fake rocket notification app designed to target Israeli citizens.  The app mimics the Code Red app utilized by the Israeli government to warn Israeli citizens of rocket attacks launched by Hamas from the Gaza Strip.  The launch of the app came during one of the most intense periods of attack from Hamas since 2014, with Hamas firing over 200 rockets into Israel over a two-day period.  The app, whose launch was likely timed on purpose to coincide with the increased attacks, allows Hamas to take control of an extensive number of features of the victims’ phones.  The application allows for the remote tracking of the device, taking photos, recording of audio and video, sending messages, and making phone calls.  The application was downloaded through a fake website designed to mimic the Code Red system and was promoted through an extensive network of fake Facebook accounts and pages.  Though the website has been taken offline, it does appear that the application has been downloaded a number of times.  Deleting the application does not remove the malware from the mobile device though.  Fake applications like this could also possibly be used by the terrorist group to cause greater civilian casualties as citizens are unable to receive proper warnings of rocket launches.

ANALYST NOTES