Hezbollah could use Likud app to harm Israeli security: Ex-Mossad chief

"Everyone who has an Israeli SIM card can download the app. This means that our friends from Hezbollah can also do it, as well as IRGC operatives and Hamas operatives in Nablus and Gaza."

PM Benjamin Netanyahu at Likud Party meeting, Feb. 9, 2020 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
PM Benjamin Netanyahu at Likud Party meeting, Feb. 9, 2020
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo warned that the Elector app used by the Likud Party is a "real, tangible danger" to Israeli security, as anyone with an Israeli SIM card can download the app, including Hezbollah, Hamas and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, according to the Israeli business daily Calcalist.
Pardo called for people to delete the app, saying, "In my opinion, using Elector is a real, tangible danger to state security. Everyone who has an Israeli SIM card can download the app. This means that our friends from Hezbollah can also do it, as well as IRGC operatives and Hamas operatives in Nablus and Gaza."
Dr. Anat Ben-David, a social network researcher, told Pardo that as long as someone knows the name of a member of Israel's security forces and that person's number had been put into the app, then someone could enter the app and find this information.
"If this is so, regardless of the breach or whatever happened after the company received the list of voters of the State of Israel, anyone who has the app today jeopardizes the security of the security forces of the State of Israel wherever they are," said Pardo, according to Calcalist.
The former Mossad chief called Elector "coronavirus for security" explaining that the moment a person's info is put into the app and they can see their information and other people's information, it "develops like a plague.
"This application is dangerous for the security of the State of Israel, for the safety of the soldiers and commanders of the IDF, Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] officers and the Mossad. Therefore, I say to them, delete the application," said Pardo.
The personal information of 6,453,254 Israelis was leaked after the Likud Party uploaded the entire Israeli national voter registry to the Elector application, according to Haaretz.
The leaked information included names, identification numbers, phone numbers and addresses.
Political parties in Israel receive the information of Israeli voters before the elections and must protect their privacy and cannot copy, erase or transfer the registry.
The voter registry was uploaded to the Elector application, which the Likud Party uses on Election Day. A breach in the application allows for the leaking of the registry, which can then be downloaded on a computer, according to Haaretz.
An anonymous source told Haaretz about the security flaw through which any person could access the entire registry without even needing to use sophisticated tools. Exact instructions were published on how to access the voter registry.
“Every intelligence organization, foreign state or even commercial company can receive data on every person in Israel. I’ve seen many breaches in my life, [but] I’ve never seen such a ridiculous breach like this, which did this much damage,” said Ron Bar Zik, a senior programmer at Verizon media, told the Israeli business daily Calcalist.
Privacy activists warned about using the application even before the leak, and Haaretz passed the report on to the National Cyber Directorate.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on Likud supporters to download the application in order to help draft more supporters and voters. The company that developed the application, Feed-b, said that this was “a specific incident that was taken care of immediately, and afterwards security was strengthened substantially.”
According to Tel Aviv-based business newspaper TheMarker, the Elector application allows parties to create databases in a way that breaks the Protection of Privacy Law, because it calls on users to provide private information of possible party voters that isn’t included in the voter registry. It is unclear how much and what type of information was leaked from the Likud database; Haaretz refrained from investigating the matter too deeply in order to avoid breaking the law.