This Post was originally written for Global Voices
Sex scandals have become the most important pillars of electronic warfare on the Syrian opposition where many of Syrian opposition fighters have been subjected to piracy and stolen military plans by women seduction on the Internet. This what FireEye reveals in its special report “Behind The Syrian Conflict’s Digital Front Lines” [pdf] of Syrian regime Sex-based hacking operations.
We uncovered these battle plans in the course of our ongoing threat research. It quickly became apparent that we had come across stolen documents containing the secret communications and plans of Syrian opposition forces that had fallen victim to a well-executed hacking operation.
Seduction and sex as weapon is as old as Delilah story when she seduced powerful Samson. “Delilahs” in 21st century are Pro-Assad hackers who have tricked Syria’s rebels (possibly including some from ISIS) into falling for the oldest scam on the Internet in chats with “girls”. The contact established via Skype, as attractive women who sought information about the victim accessing form. The hacker, soon after, send an image malware -tailored to PC or smartphone- it automatically establish a remote-access tool known as DarkComet which is adapted to the circumstances in Syria- along with their sexy “selfies.”
On its report, page 12, FireEye reports a representative chat between IMAN (hacker) and her target (victim):
IMAN: How are you on skype? On a computer or on your phone?
TARGET:How are you?
IMAN: Are you opening Skype on your mobile?
TARGET: Computer and mobile
TARGET: How old are you?
IMAN: And you?
TARGET: What is your date of birth?
IMAN: What a nice coincidence
IMAN: Sent file New-Iman-Picture.pif
TARGET: You drive me crazy
Thought that the fighter’s birth date was available on Skype and social networking sites, the same birth date was likely not a coincidence.
AnonymousHQ comments on the reported cyber incidents on its website:
It is not yet clear whether the hackers have passed the stolen information of the Syrian rebels to the Syrian government or not. If the stolen information is passed on to the Syrian government, it would help them in defeating the rebels. We don’t have any information regarding the hackers behind this operation.