(Advocate file photo, taken by Elie Posner-The Israel Museum).

Israel: Hamas tried to spy on soldiers with fake dating apps

By Aron Heller

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TEL AVIV, Israel — The Israeli military says it’s uncovered a plot by Hamas to spy on soldiers by befriending them on social media and then luring them to download dating applications that give the militants access to their smartphones.

A senior intelligence officer says Tuesday Hamas initially reached out to the soldiers through Facebook, often posing as young women, and then moved the relationship over to the WhatsApp texting service. Following dozens of reports from soldiers receiving unusual messages, the military launched operation “Broken Heart” to shut down the threat.

The military says it has uncovered three Hamas-operated apps on Google Play that had been downloaded about 100 times by soldiers.

The officer, speaking on condition of anonymity under military guidelines, said no major damage was done.

Hamas had no immediate comment.

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