Israeli spy company attempted hacking phones of Qatar residents

Israeli spy company attempted hacking phones of Qatar residents By Mohamed Suhaib - March 12, 2023
Image for illustrative purpose only

Image for illustrative purpose only

"ICAD" revealed for the first time about the spying of an Israeli security company on the residents of Qatar, through the use of targeted and dense advertisements through the Instagram application, through which it collects personal data, e-mail and phone numbers.

The ICAD investigations team monitored these fake ads, which appeared extensively among Instagram users in Doha during the past weeks. The ads target the age group of 25 years and over, and use images of media professionals and influencers from within Qatar to add credibility and attract users.

The careful digital analysis confirmed the attempts of professional Israeli spy companies to hack the phones of residents of Qatar, and collect as much information and personal data as possible, by promoting ads that make users think that they are investment ads only and using pictures of well-known personalities inside Doha, and this data may be used for other purposes.

Fake ad links request the user’s personal data, such as email, phone number, and full name. This information may be used to hack the data owner’s devices and collect more information about him. Upon examination, it was found that these pages are active from inside Israel.

According to ICAD, the content presented on all these different accounts is similar in content. It does not publish content about investment, but rather publishes news, some of which are related to local Qatar, or content unrelated to investment advertisements, most of which are run from America, with phone numbers from a Gulf country.

ICAD analyzed the ads published by a page called Boom Social, to find that it contained malicious software, which might be implanted in the user’s devices to collect personal information or hack his electronic device. The surprise was that this fake page was linked to a professional Israeli cybersecurity company, headquartered in the United States. And another headquarters in Israel under the name of NovoShield.

This Israeli company works with another American company that specializes in creating multiple fictitious brand names for marketing purposes. The Israeli company creates a large number of pages under different commercial and media names, to hide their original identity and make it difficult to track and find out who is behind this.

ICAD also revealed that these companies provide intelligence solutions to penetrate devices and communications for security agencies, governments, and military institutions, in cooperation with other Israeli companies.

Source: The Eastern Herald

By Mohamed Suhaib - March 12, 2023

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