Shin Bet Finds Major Security Gaps After Gantz's Ex-janitor Charged With Espionage

Omri Goren Gorochovsky, who has been sentenced to jail time on four prior occasions, did not undergo a background check before beginning to work for Defense Minister Gantz

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Shin Bet director Ronen Bar.
Shin Bet director Ronen Bar.Credit: Moti Milrod

Two Shin Bet commanders were reprimanded following the arrest and prosecution of a janitor convicted last month of espionage while employed at Defense Minister Benny Gantz's home, the Shin Bet announced Tuesday after an internal investigation. 

Omri Goren Gorochovsky, a 37-year-old convicted felon from Lod, was charged over his attempts to aid the Iran-linked Black Shadow hacker group, including an offer to plant malware on the minister's computer.

Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar presented the classified investigation into the case to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. According to the Shin Bet, an external investigation committee appointed by Bar and consisting of three retired Shin Bet officials described the case as "professional oversight," citing gaps in coordination around ensuring top government officials' security. 

Gorochovsky, who had been working in Gantz's home since 2018, has been sentenced to jail time on four prior occasions, including for armed robbery and breaking into homes. He did not undergo a security review before beginning to work for Gantz. 

Gorochovsky used the Telegram app to locate and contact a Black Shadow representative and approached him under a false identity, presenting himself as someone who works for Gantz and saying he could help the group in various ways, according to the Justice Ministry.

In order to prove his sincerity, Gorochovsky photographed numerous items in the home and sent them to the member of Black Shadow, including a desk, computers, a phone, a tablet, a package bearing a sticker with an IP address on it, a locked safe, a shredder, and more, according to the indictment, which said he erased all the interactions from his Telegram app. 

Black Shadow has targeted Israelis on several occasions, including the release of private information from an LGBTQ dating site after it infiltrated the servers of the Israeli web hosting site Cyberserve.

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