Dubai hit team used hacks, left electronic trail says report

Killers of Hamas boss used trojan to track movements

Tags: HackingMalwareUnited Arab Emirates
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Dubai hit team used hacks, left electronic trail says report Although police were able to trace the suspects from their electronic trail, Dubai police chief, Lieutenant General Dahi Khlafan, later said that he believed they had all escpaed to Israel. (Getty Images)
By Staff Writer Published  January 6, 2011

The Israeli hit squad that killed Hamas boss Mahmud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai last January used a number of hacks in the course of the crime, according to a new report.

The report, in GQ Magazine, says that the team, believed to be part of Israel's Mossad intelligence service, used a Trojan planted on Al-Mabhouh's laptop to track some of his movements email and online activities, to indentify when he would be in Dubai.

The attackers were also recorded on video surveillance at the Al Bustan Rotana hotel in Dubai hacking the electronic door lock to Al-Mabhouh's hotel room, to allow the team to enter without arousing suspicion.

According to Ronen Bergmann, author of the article, the killers also left an electronic trail of mistakes that allowed Dubai police to identify the suspects in the murder.

Along with the widely reported video surveillance, which police used to track the suspects arrival in and movement around Dubai, the gang also all used the same private switch board, based in Austria, to route phone calls among themselves. The switch board was used to avoid making direct calls to mobiles while in the UAE, but also allowed police to identify the small number of users of the service at the time, and cross reference with other evidence.

A third source that helped confirm the apparent identities of the gang was the use of pre-paid credit cards, with several members using relatively rare international pre-paid cards, all of which were issued by the same company, Payoneer. The CEO of the Payoneer, Yuval Tal, is a former member of an Israeli commando unit.

The given identities of the team were later found to be false, and no one has yet been found guilty of the murder.

3145 days ago
Mohammad Jweied

Great job by Dubai police, showing a lot of expertise and excellence in the field.

May Allah bless your efforts.

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