Facebook claims Palestinian spies responsible for long-running hacking campaign

Facebook claims it has thwarted a prolonged Palestinian intelligence cyberespionage campaign that features journalists' spies and the deployment of a booby-trapped app to present human rights stories.

According to Reuters, Facebook accused him of carrying out rudimentary hacking activities targeting the Palestinian reporters, activists, and protesters as well as other organizations in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, the cyber arm of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service (PSS), loyal to President Mohammad Abbas.

Ikrimah Thabet, the PSS spokesperson, refused the charges made on Facebook and said: 'We value the media, work under the laws that regulate our work, and work through law and order. We respect information freedoms, anonymity, and secrecy."

He said the service has strong ties with reporters and the Palestinian Syndicate of Journalists.

The tactics used by PSS were mostly used to get people to download spy apps on the ground, according to the Facebook article, for example by making stupid Facebook profiles with images of beautiful young women. This was a very important step.

Facebook has said that hackers posed as journalists and, in some cases, attempted to download spy-masking software as protected chat applications or an application that publishes human rights stories.

In order to attract specific supporters, some of their Facebook pages published articles opposing Russia's Middle East foreign policy, for example.

In the run-up to the release of the article, Mike Dvilyanski, Head of Cyber-Espionage Investigations at Facebook, said that the methods were crude but "we consider them persistent."

Facebook claimed that around 300 counterfeiting or stolen accounts were deployed by the PSS to target about 800 users altogether.