Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his former cleaner Omri Goren Gorochovsky

Israel's Shin Bet sanctions members for Gantz cleaner security breach

Review panel finds faults in screening process of staff with access to inner circles of officials guarded by the agency; Shin Bet chief Bar says probe offered opportunity to improve hiring process

Yoav Zitun |
Updated: 12.07.21, 20:02
The Shin Bet domestic security agency decided on Monday to sanction two of the organization's operatives as part of an internal review into an attempted espionage case in which a cleaner working at Defense Ministry Benny Gantz's home tried to sell intelligence to Iranian-linked hackers.
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  • Charges filed to the Lod District Court last month revealed that 37-year-old Omri Goren Gorochovsky — who was employed at the Gantz residence for three years — contacted the Black Shadow hacker group that is believed to have ties to Iran and offered to install malware on the defense minister's personal computer in exchange for money.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Benny Gantz and his former cleaner Omri Goren Gorochovsky
    Benny Gantz and his former cleaner Omri Goren Gorochovsky
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his former cleaner Omri Goren Gorochovsky
    (Photo: Shmuel Davidpur)
    Security authorities say they were notified of the cleaner's attempts before he was able to cause any harm to national security.
    The Shin Bet probe looked into recruitment processes and offered several steps to prevent similar security breaches in the future.
    The review panel featured three former senior Shin Bet officials who found that in addition to the agency's failure to properly vet Goren upon recruitment, it failed to do so again in later inspections.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
     ראש השב"כ הנכנס רונן בר יוצא לתקשורת
     ראש השב"כ הנכנס רונן בר יוצא לתקשורת
    Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar
    (Photo: Yair Sagi)
    Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar lauded his colleagues for detecting the security breach and taking swift action after Goren made initial contact with the Black Shadow.
    "Our quick response notwithstanding, we failed in identifying the risk posed by the cleaner employed by the Gantz family," Bar said. "This allowed us the opportunity to review our hiring process and introduce improvements to our methods of securing officials under our protection."
    First published: 19:49, 12.07.21
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