An individual who worked as a cleaner at Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s home was arrested earlier this month on suspicions of espionage, it was cleared for publication on Thursday.

According to the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), a joint Shin Bet-Israel Police investigation revealed that Omri Goren, 37, from Lod, reportedly contacted the Iran-affiliated Black Shadow hacker group of his own accord a few days before his arrest, and offered to provide information from within the defense minister’s home. Goren reportedly contacted the group via the Telegram messaging service.

 In exchange for an undisclosed sum of money, he offered to install spyware on the minister’s computer that would allow access by a third party.

He also supposedly took photographs of Gantz’s desk, computers, a tablet, a locked safe, a shredder, papers with IP addresses, a package with a label listing the souvenirs Gantz received as IDF chief of staff, framed photos of the family, municipal tax bills and more.

Some of the photos Goren shared with the group prove that he did indeed have access to Gantz’s home. The Shin Bet stressed however that Goren had been arrested before he could do any damage, and had not had access to classified materials. The investigation was conducted with Gantz’s knowledge.

Once the investigation concluded, the Central District prosecution filed an indictment against Goren for espionage.

The Shin Bet said that in light of the incident, it has set out to research ways to limit “the possibility of cases like this repeating themselves in the future.”

Gantz’s office stressed that due to existing information security protocols at the defense minister’s home, Goren was never privy to classified information.

Shlomi Diaz contributed to this report.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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