operation bearded barbie

Hackers Launch ‘Operation Bearded Barbie’

Dark Web Hackers Link to Israeli Bureaucrats

Hamas-backed hacking group, ‘APT-C-23’ was recently discovered catfishing Israeli officials in various law enforcement and government institutions; their ticket into the lives of these high-ranking bureaucrats?

A new malware experiment dubbed ‘Operation Bearded Barbie.’

Before issuing the malware, however, the campaign employs high-level social engineering techniques such as constructing fake social media identities to maintain long-term relationships with their targets.

When the hacks suggest the target move to a supposedly more covert Android IM app, which is actually the VolatileVenom virus, these fabricated relationships take a sexual turn. At the same time, the hacker sends a link to a RAR file disguised as the link to a pornographic video – which is a BarbWire backdoor downloader.

Hack Comprises Several Top Israeli Officials

The APT-C-23 dark web hackers have been using this malicious backdoor downloader since April 2020. According to Cybereason analysts tracking the hacking group, it has been enhanced with additional features, which employs several new techniques. In addition, the BarbWire malware has been previously tested on Israeli targets. However, the dark web hackers are constantly upgrading their arsenal with more intricate social engineering efforts that tricks their intended targets.

Now in 2022, ‘Operation Bearded Barbie’ stands out from all previous APT-C-23 hacking missions, because it is not built on an overlapping infrastructure. The dark web hacking group’s ultimate goal is to use exploitative methods against their targets, and at the same time remain undetectable.

So far, APT-C-23 has employed two malicious backdoors, one for Windows and the other for Android devices. With formidably active and effective espionage operation, the dark web hackers effortlessly compromised their targets.

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