Omri Goren, an Israeli citizen who worked as a housekeeper for Defense Minister Benny Gantz, revealed in an interrogation that he had approached on his own initiative an entity affiliated with Iran and offered to assist them. He also sent several photos he had taken of items in the Minister’s home, the Shin Bet reported Thursday.
Goren located on Telegram a representative of the hacker group Black Shadow which is affiliated with Iran and has been attacking Israeli computers this year (Iran Affiliated Hackers Leak Explicit Data of 290K Israeli Patients, 10K Credit Cards). Using a fake identity, he introduced himself as someone who works for the Israeli Minister of Defense, and that he can assist the group in various ways. He added that for a sum of money he would be able to transfer information from the minister’s home and even suggested that he be given a computer worm to plant in the minister’s computer.
Goren was arrested for questioning in November following a joint investigation of the Shin Bet, Israel Police, and the National Serious Crimes Unit in Lahav 433. He was doing housework and cleaning at the home of Defense Minister Gantz, which he presented as an asset to his contact person in a message on a social network. To prove his potential worth, he took pictures of items around the minister’s house, source, including his home computers, and sent them to his potential employer.
The items he photographed included a work desk, computers, a telephone, a tablet, a box labeled with IDF affiliation details and serial numbers, a sticker with an IP address, a locked safe, a paper shredder, military souvenirs from Gantz’s service as IDF chief of staff, framed photos of Gantz and family members, and a copy of the Minister’s property tax form.
The Shin Bet emphasized that due to the measures and procedures for information security at the Defense Minister’s home, Goren did not have access to classified materials, and so no such materials were transferred by him to the parties he approached.
However, reporter Amit Segal noted that the suspect had a serious criminal record, including five convictions between 2002 and 2013, fourteen police files including two bank robberies, burglaries, and theft. He spent four stints in prison for those convictions, most recently, four years for robbery.
Which makes you wonder, Segal said, how did Goren get this sensitive job in the first place? Was the vetting guy on vacation? Home with Covid?