Honeypot traps are in the news after the CNN-Buzzfeed Trump-Russia fiasco.

What’s a honeypot trap? Seriously, haven’t you read any spy novels? It when an intelligence agency offers up honey (a girl, boy, whatever) to a target, who then partakes of the honey not knowing the event is being filmed for future blackmail. The trap can be things other than honey (like luring the target into some other financial or criminally compromising position).

Having traveled extensively and studied in the Soviet Union, I know that various traps were set even for lowly students.

Like the time in 1979 at a Tallinn (Soviet Republic of Estonia) nightclub where fellow-American students and I were waiting outside in line, when a car pulled up. Two men approached us in a friendly manner, and whisked us past the proletariat waiting in line into the club, where we were given a prime table to share with them. I acted as translator since I was the only fluent Russian speaker. The men spent most of the night trying to get us to exchange Rubles for Dollars — illegal in the Soviet Union unless done through a government exchange. I spent most of the night politely telling them No. I’m not sure what use they would have made of it, or maybe I was just paranoid, but yes, I had already read spy novels so I wasn’t taking any chances.

A Hamas honeypot trap scheme was just disclosed by the Israelis. Who knows how long the Israelis knew about it — they may have used it to identify Hamas operatives in a reverse-honeypot (I just made up that term). The purpose of the honeypot trap was to lure soldiers into downloading virus-infected apps which would turn their cell phones into sources of information for Hamas.

The Times of Israel reports:

The Israel Defense Forces uncovered a plot in which Hamas members posed as attractive women on social media in order to trick soldiers into revealing sensitive military information, a senior intelligence official said Wednesday.

The Military Intelligence officer would not reveal the exact number of soldiers affected by these attacks, which took place over the last few months, but said it was “many dozens.”

“There is, of course, a potential of serious harm to national security, but the damage that was actually done was minor,” the official said.

The Hamas hackers also posed as army veterans in some of the attacks.

At this point, the official said, the plot is considered foiled, and no additional soldiers have been hacked.

The IDF Blog provides more details, and an example:

This is Elianna Amer from Ashkelon, Israel. She laughs at your jokes. She really seems to like talking to you. She even sent you a cute picture of her at the beach. Would you video chat with her?

Hamas is hoping that you would, and that you and Elianna will keep talking. After all, she wants to get to know you – and there’s a cool new app that she wants to use to do it. “Elianna” – and the app she’s trying to get you to download – is Hamas’s newest weapon.

Hamas, the radical Islamist terror group, has also been known in the past to use social media to promote terror and incite violence. But the IDF’s Informations Security Unit of the Intelligence Directorate has exposed a new way that Hamas is using the internet to their advantage: the human connection.

Hamas operatives are making fake profiles and trying to persuade IDF soldiers to befriend them. If they can make this connection work, the Hamas operative tries to convince the soldiers to download a virus that turns their phones into the terror group’s own personal information source.

Here are some images from Facebook provided by the IDF (via JPost):

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Hamas-using-virtual-honeypots-to-lure-in-IDF-soldiers-and-compromise-their-cellphones-478131