Israel Hamas war deteriorates in cyber space with fake currency begging scam

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Amidst the cries for freedom from the war initiated by Hamas, innocent citizens of Israel are facing a new threat in the form of heartless individuals engaging in cyber scams to profit from the ongoing conflict. Over the past three days, social media platforms like Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook have been inundated with stories aimed at soliciting funds to aid those suffering from the impacts of the war.

A disconcerting aspect of this situation is that many of these stories appear to be fabricated by cybercriminals, some of whom may be funded by state-sponsored hackers. Their modus operandi involves posing as charitable organizations dedicated to alleviating the suffering of war victims. In reality, approximately 80% of these so-called organizations lack a physical presence and are merely impersonating victims while seeking financial support. They promise that the funds will reach those in need promptly.

Online users, particularly in countries like Canada, Australia, the UK, and the United States, have been bombarded with these deceptive messages and video links. Several hashtags, such as “Help Israel” and “Save Israel,” are trending on Facebook, but these are fake and have no affiliation with recognized charitable organizations engaged in philanthropic activities. Their primary objective is to collect personal information from targeted victims and, if possible, obtain details about their bank accounts. This information can then be exploited for social engineering attacks, resulting in drained bank accounts and phishing attempts.

In addition to social media, similar deceptive tactics have surfaced on Instagram, with fabricated videos and photos claiming to depict war victims suffering from the conflict in the Gaza Strip. In reality, many of these images are either the result of deepfake technology or have been sourced from online archives such as Google.

It is essential for individuals to exercise caution when encountering profiles of supposed victims or organizations soliciting donations. It is advisable to verify their claims thoroughly before taking any action. Otherwise, a well-intentioned desire to help may inadvertently lead to revealing sensitive personal information to hackers or the loss of funds from one’s accounts.

It’s important to note that cybersecurity companies headquartered in Israel are actively working to address this issue. The Israeli government and military are also making significant efforts to minimize human and property losses caused by the conflict. In fact, many Israeli businesses have relocated their operations to the United States, Canada, and Asia via virtual platforms or online marketplaces, ensuring the continuity of their activities. Those who remain in the conflict-stricken nation are being offered financial assistance to meet their basic needs. Many around the world are closely watching the developments, hoping for the situation to come under control as Israel’s Sayeret Matkal, in collaboration with Mossad Elite, is making progress in countering Hamas’s Nukhba Force in various border regions.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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