Former housekeeper of Israeli Defense Minister sentenced to three years for espionage

A former housekeeper for Defence Minister Benny Gantz who attempted to pass information to a hacking group with ties to Iran has been jailed by an Israeli court.

Omri Goren, 38, accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to three years in prison. The plea deal made with prosecutors that in exchange for a shorter sentence, prosecutors wouldn’t pursue espionage charges, which could have resulted in a prison sentence of 10-15 years.

The Israeli justice ministry stated that Goren told Black Shadow hackers he could provide information on Benny Gantz and infect his computer with malware in return for monetary payment.

Goren has denied knowingly attempting to spy for Iran, who are seen as an enemy of Israel.

“[He] is not a spy and this isn’t a spying scandal,” his lawyers told the Times of Israel after Tuesday’s sentencing hearing. “This is about a man who found himself entangled in debt and identified a security breach.”

Goren reportedly boasted that he actually intended to pull the wool over the eyes of the hackers and con them out of their money.

“If they would have waited a few days before arresting me they’d see that I’m not a spy,” the cleaner reportedly said according to The Times of Israel. “I wanted to trick the Iranians and take their money without sending them any photo or documents.”

Israel’s internal Shin Bet security service admitted it found “numerous failures” in its vetting process which led to Goren being hired as a cleaner. An investigation following Goren’s arrest showed he had an extensive criminal record, including five previous convictions and four prison sentences. Two of the charges were allegedly for robbing banks.

Black Shadow was reportedly responsible for several hacking operations targeting Israeli officials last year. Last October the group reportedly gained access to the servers of Israeli web hosting service Cyberserve. 

Months later, the group published names and passwords stolen from an Israeli LGBTQ dating site called Atraf.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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