Russians hacked into Gantz's phone - report

Hacking comes months after Iranians did same.

By
August 28, 2019 23:24
1 minute read.
Benny Gantz has awoken from his post-election slumber.

Benny Gantz has awoken from his post-election slumber.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz’s phone was hacked by Russian hackers several months after Iranians hacked into the phone, Channel 12 reported on Wednesday.

The report said that CGI, the company Blue and White hired to check for moles leaking internal information, found that Russians had hacked into the phone of Gantz, his chief of staff Hod Betzer, campaign manager Ido Har-Tuv and adviser Ronen Moshe. CGI recommended that Blue and White file a police complaint, but the party chose not to do so.

“This is a powerful hack the likes of which we have never seen before,” CGI said in its summary that the company gave to Gantz.

Blue and White confirmed that a hacking was attempted but disputed CGI’s findings that the hacking had succeeded.

“Political officials who are worried about our forthcoming victory tried to obtain information from the leadership of the campaign,” Blue and White said. “[CGI’s] report spoke of suspicion of an attempt to obtain information, but it turned out to be a lie. We turned to cyber experts in the field and they found that none of the phones were hacked.”

Blue and White officials said the security of the campaign team has since then been upgraded.

In March, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) told Gantz that Iranian intelligence had hacked into his phone. The Shin Bet reportedly told Gantz that he must assume that any information that was on his phone was taken by those most hostile to Israel. No classified information was believed to be on the phone.

Blue and White said at the time that the timing of the leak of the Shin Bet’s report so close to the April 9 election was suspicious.

“We do not comment on issues that touch on core aspects of Israel’s security,” the party said. “It should be emphasized that this event took place four years after Benny Gantz completed his service as IDF chief of staff and therefore raises important questions as to the specific timing of publication of this news item.”


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