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Hamas bootleg rocket alert app may be start of cyber terror campaign

Flames of rockets fired by Palestinian militants are seen over Gaza Strip toward Israeli lands, early Wednesday, May 30, 2018.
AP Photo/Hatem Moussa
Hack app comes in the wake up of the greatest escalation between Hamas and Israel since the 2014 conflict

Hamas has crafted a bootleg version of the “Code Red” rocket alert sirens app to hack into Israeli phones as the terror group continues to seek out alternative ways of battling the Jewish state.

An Israeli cyber security firm warned Thursday about the fake application designed to mimic those that notify users of rocket warnings issued by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in a specific region, to alert them to take cover by finding the closest appropriate protective shelter.

Hamas is trying to take advantage of the application to hack into users’ phones and gather information by taking pictures, recording conversations, and GPS tracking.

“When you download the (fake) app it takes control of the mobile phone and allows the operator to track the device, take pictures, record sound and make calls and send messages,” said CEO of ClearSky Cyber Security, Boaz Dolev, according to The Times of Israel.

He further warned that even deleting the app did not necessarily remove the malware, and urged the public to be careful in downloading applications only from authorized digital stores, such as Google or Apple’s.

However, Dolev was optimistic that the phony application was caught discovered early, which could help prevent what might be the beginning of Hamas’ campaign to wage cyber attacks.

The announcement comes in the wake up of the greatest escalation between Hamas and Israel since the 2014 conflict, with over 200 rockets launched from the Gaza Strip from late Wednesday into Thursday. One rocket reached all the way near Beersheba, also the first time since 2014.

The parties reached a ceasefire Thursday, which marked the third negotiated ceasefire within a month to bring to a halt rocket attacks and retaliatory air strikes.

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