Cleaner at Gantz's house convicted for trying to spy for Iran-affiliated Black Shadow

He has been sentenced to 3 years in jail in a plea deal.

 Benny Gantz speaks during a press conference at the IDF Southern Command, in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, on August 5, 2022 (photo credit: FLASH90)
Benny Gantz speaks during a press conference at the IDF Southern Command, in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, on August 5, 2022
(photo credit: FLASH90)

The Lod District Court on Tuesday convicted a cleaner who had worked for Defense Minister Benny Gantz as part of a plea deal for contacting the Iranian-affiliated hacker group Black Shadow and offering to spy on him for them.

According to a Justice Ministry statement, Omri Goren Gorochovsky, 37, from Lod, offered to supply information from within Gantz’s house, including classified documents from his computer.

The attempt was thwarted by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), and no classified material was revealed, the Defense Ministry said.

The court sentenced Goren Gorochovsky to three years in prison as part of the plea deal.

Goren Gorochovsky proposed to Black Shadow that he install a virus into Gantz’s personal computer. He contacted the group after reports earlier in 2021 discussed Black Shadow and its hacking attempts on Israeli targets.

What was the indictment in November?

According to the indictment filed in November 2021, Goren Gorochovsky contacted the group via Telegram under a false identity and said he worked for the defense minister.

 Defense Minister Benny Gantz visiting Japan.  (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY) Defense Minister Benny Gantz visiting Japan. (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

He told the group he could assist them in exchange for payment. Next, he sent the Black Shadow representative photographs of a number of items in Gantz’s house to prove his intentions.

The investigation was carried out with Gantz’s knowledge, the indictment said.

This is not the first time Gantz has been the target of hostile intelligence operations.

In March 2019, Gantz’s cellphone was hacked, likely by actors linked to Iran.

The Shin Bet told Gantz he would need to assume that any information on his phone was compromised by groups hostile to Israel, but no classified information was believed to be on the phone at the time.