BEIRUT (AP) — The Lebanese government blamed Israel Friday for a recent hacking in which audio messages were sent to people in Lebanon claiming the Hezbollah leader was behind the death of the group’s top military commander.
A statement issued by the Telecommunications Ministry said that “sophisticated technology” was used to breach Lebanon’s telecoms network, making it appear as if the messages were coming from inside Lebanon.
The audio and WhatsApp messages were sent to about 10,000 people, the ministry said.
The messages were sent during a speech by Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah Thursday, marking a year since Mustafa Badreddine died in Syria.
“The killer of our martyr Mustafa Badreddine is giving his speech in front of you,” said the audio.
Text messages were also sent via WhatsApp reading: “Nasrallah continues to lie.”
Hezbollah said it is in contact with the ministry to find out how the breach happened. It added that through the hacking, the telephone numbers of the group’s media office were used to send the messages to people around Lebanon.
Israel has said it believes Badreddine was killed by rivals within the militant group.
There was no immediate comment from Israeli officials.
The telecommunication ministry said similar hacking occurred during the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.
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