Israeli spies infiltrated the Facebook page of an Egyptian mob and tried to use it to launch a cyber attack against Egypt, according to an intelligence source familiar with the operation.
The source said the operation was carried out against the account of the group called the Arab Brigade, which had a Facebook page with more than 100,000 members in Egypt.
The Israeli spy, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said a team of agents infiltrated the page and attempted to create an attack on it.
“They asked for the name of the page’s creator, who in turn gave them a password,” the source said.
“The Israelis then went to his home and installed malware on his computer.
They then used this malware to infiltrate the Facebook account of an Arab Brigade member.””
They installed a backdoor in the software of the computer, which allowed them to send a message to the Facebook user and obtain his password,” he said.”
The group’s Facebook page had over 50,000 likes, but because of the security breach, the account was not deleted.”
According to the source, the operation also succeeded in gaining access to the website of the Arab Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is connected to the ministry of defense, where the group’s members live.
“We were able to retrieve the ministry’s website and steal their emails, and then the hackers took them to Israel,” the Israeli source said, adding that he believed the attack was “highly sophisticated” and had been carried out by Israel’s “special services” and “special ops units.”
A Facebook spokesman declined to comment.
The Arab Brigade had reportedly been active in the Sinai Peninsula since 2012, and was a regular target of Israel’s military operations in the region.
Israeli officials have said they believe that the group was behind the killing of three Egyptian soldiers during a raid on a base in the coastal city of Sheikh Zuweid in June 2016.
Israel claimed that the soldiers were killed in retaliation for the kidnapping and killing of a Jewish man and his daughter in Egypt in 2013.
The operation to infiltrate a Facebook account is likely to have added to tensions between Egypt and Israel, with the Egyptian leader accusing Israel of trying to destabilize the country by using Facebook.
The Egyptian government has been battling a series of Islamist groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, that have been gaining strength in the country.
A statement issued by the military said that Israel has “failed to act in accordance with the international law that protects the security of citizens.”
“It’s clear that the Israeli government’s attempt to use the Egyptian military to destabilise Egypt is the continuation of its hostile policy towards the Palestinian people,” the statement said.
Egypt has said it has a duty to protect its citizens from any threat.
The country’s government has previously warned Israel that it would be held accountable if it continued to undermine its security.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has warned Israel not to interfere in the affairs of other states.
Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, and Israel’s decision to maintain a military presence in the Palestinian territories, have further heightened tensions between the two countries.
In a letter to Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, Sissi said: “If Israel does not stop its activities in the Guez Valley, and it does not withdraw from the occupied territories and the territories that are occupied by other countries, then Egypt will take a clear and firm position against any further escalation and aggression.”