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Hamas Emerges as Newest Cyber Espionage Powerhouse

Hamas militants / Getty Images
Hamas militants / Getty Images

The Iran-backed Hamas terror group is investing great resources in its cyber espionage capabilities, opening an increasingly dangerous front in its war against Israel, according to a new report.

"Hamas has demonstrated steady improvement in its cyber capabilities and operations over time, especially in its espionage operations against internal and external targets," the Atlantic Council think tank said in a report this week. "The group’s burgeoning cyber capabilities, alongside its propaganda tactics, pose a threat to Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and U.S. interests in the region—especially in tandem with the group’s capacities to fund, organize, inspire, and execute kinetic attacks."

While Hamas is well-known for its deadly terror strikes on Israel, the group is putting an increased emphasis on its virtual attack networks, which should not be underestimated, according to the report. "It comes as a surprise to many security experts that Hamas—chronically plagued by electricity shortages in the Gaza Strip, with an average of just 10 to 12 hours of electricity per day—even possesses cyber capabilities," the Atlantic Council said.

Cyber espionage campaigns allow Hamas to wage outsized influence on its enemies, particularly Israel. Hack attacks orchestrated by Hamas in recent years have exposed Israeli military secrets and infiltrated the country’s law enforcement apparatus, highlighting the danger the terror group poses in the virtual world.

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