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U.S. Treasury Hamas Spokesperson for Cyber Influence Operations | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


Apr 13, 2024NewsroomCyber influence / Warfare

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Friday announced sanctions against an official associated with Hamas for his involvement in cyber influence operations.

Hudhayfa Samir ‘Abdallah al-Kahlut, 39, also known as Abu Ubaida, has served as the public spokesperson of Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, since at least 2007.

“He publicly threatened to execute civilian hostages held by Hamas following the terrorist group’s October 7, 2023, attacks on Israel,” the Treasury Department said.

Cybersecurity

“Al-Kahlut leads the cyber influence department of al-Qassam Brigades. He was involved in procuring servers and domains in Iran to host the official al-Qassam Brigades website in cooperation with Iranian institutions.”

Alongside Al-Kahlut, two other individuals named William Abu Shanab, 56, and Bara’a Hasan Farhat, 35, for their role in the manufacturing of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) used by Hamas to conduct terrorist operations, including urban warfare and intelligence gathering.

Both Abu Shanab and his assistant Farhat are said to be part of the Lebanon-based al-Shimali unit, where the former is a commander.

Coinciding with the actions taken by the U.S., the European Union imposed sanctions of its own against Al-Qassam Brigades, Al-Quds Brigades, and Nukhba Force for their “brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks” targeting Israel last year.

While Al-Quds Brigades is the armed wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Nukhba Force is a special forces unit of Hamas.

Cybersecurity

The joint action, said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson, is aimed at “disrupting Hamas’s ability to conduct further attacks, including through cyber warfare and the production of UAVs.”

The development arrived a little over two months after the U.S. government sanctioned six Iranian officials associated with the Iranian intelligence agency for attacking critical infrastructure entities in the U.S. and other countries.

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