22 November 2021

Israel's defense minister house cleaner charged with spying for Iranian hackers


Israel's defense minister house cleaner charged with spying for Iranian hackers

A man who was working as a house cleaner for Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz has been charged with espionage after he allegedly offered to spy for an Iran-linked hacker group known as Black Shadow.

Omri Goren Gorochovsky, a 37-year-old resident of the central city of Lod, was arrested on November 4, according to the indictment published by Israel's Justice Ministry.

The indictment said that Gorochovsky approached the Black Shadow hackers after a series of reports in Israeli media about the group’s attacks against Israeli targets.

In attempt to make some money, Gorochovsky under the false identity reached out to Black Shadow via the group’s Telegram channel and offered to provide information from the house and even offered to install malware on the minister’s computer via a USB device, the authorities said.

Gorochovsky presented himself as someone who works for Gantz. To prove that he had access to the defense minister's home, the suspect sent photographs from inside Gantz's home, including images of the official’s desk, computers, a phone, a tablet, a package bearing a sticker with an IP address on it, a locked safe, and other items. After sending the photographs, Gorochovsky deleted them and all correspondence from his phone.

The Israeli domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet said that the suspect never gained access to "classified materials" and was arrested before he could do any damage. If convicted, Gorochovsky who has an extensive criminal history, including convictions for burglary and armed robbery, could face 10 to 15 years in prison.


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