An Israeli man who worked as a servant at the home of Defense Minister Benny Gantz was arrested on suspicion of being a spy for Iran. The news was reported in the Israeli press.
The man, Omri Goren, was discovered by the Israeli security service, the Shin Bet, and was arrested shortly after contacting a hacker group linked to Iran, but before he could do any harm.
According to the Israeli prosecutor, in early November, Goren contacted a person close to Iran via Telegram under a false identity and offered his help in light of his easy access to the minister’s home. The hacker group Black Shadow – which last month carried out a major cyber attack on Israeli civilian websites, stealing data from a popular LGBT dating site, among other things – has offered cooperation in exchange for money. Goren allegedly offered to install malware on Gantz’s home computer that would give the Iranian-linked operator access to the minister’s device. To prove his trustworthiness, the man, who for years had worked with his wife for the current defense minister and former premier on a rotating basis, also took photographs of a series of objects in different parts of the house: the desk, the computers. , a tablet, a box with the IDF seal, a safe, a paper shredder, photos of Gantz and his family, tax receipts.
Goran is no stranger to Israeli justice: the 37-year-old resident of Lod, a town about 15 kilometers from Tel Aviv, was sentenced five times between 2002 and 2013, on two occasions for bank robbery and others for theft and break-in; and served four prison sentences, the last of which was four years.
Now, therefore, in the Israeli political environment, there are questions about the methods of hiring staff, especially by high-profile personalities. The Shin Bet has in fact launched a review on the ways in which checks are carried out on the employees of ministers “with the aim of limiting the possibility that cases like this will repeat themselves in the future”.
Minister Gantz had also been targeted by secret services hostile to Israel in the past: in 2019, his personal cellphone was rumored to have been hacked by Iran.