Srinagar: Facebook has said that it identified and disabled “politically motivated” espionage operations by a group believed to be based in Gaza and affiliated with Hamas.
NDTV quoted AFP saying that the tech giant has disabled accounts used by the Palestinian Authority’s internal intelligence organisation to spy on journalists, human rights activists, and political opponents.
Next month rival West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas will be having a facing off for the first time in 15 years. Palestinian legislative elections are set for next month.
The report said that the PA’s Preventive Security Service (PSS) targeted “journalists, people opposing the Fatah-led government, human rights activists, and military groups,” primarily in the West Bank, Gaza and Syria, “and to a lesser extent Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and Libya”.
According to the tech giant operatives used “low-sophistication malware disguised as secure chat applications” to infiltrate Android devices and collect information from them, including “call logs, location, contacts and text messages.”
The accounts affiliated have been taken down, and “released malware hashes, blocked domains associated with their activity and alerted people” targeted.