Less than a week after Hadashot 12 reported that Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz had his phone hacked by Iran, a similar report emerged on Sunday.
According to the “Uvda” investigative news program, Iran also managed to access the data on former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s phone.
According to the report, the Shin Bet security agency informed Barak that his personal device was compromised and gave him further instructions on how he should conduct himself.
It also appears that the Iranians bought the data from hackers, rather than engaged in the hacking themselves.
Channel 12 News reported last week that Gantz, whose has become the chief challenger to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after creating a center-left bloc with national-security heavyweights, was informed several weeks ago that Iran hacked his phone.
The report caused a political firestorm. Although Gantz insisted that there was no classified data on the phone, the right said Iran might have nevertheless accessed embarrassing personal information that could be used to extort him.
Blue and White has blamed Netanyahu or his allies for providing Hadashot 12 with the details on the hack against Gantz.
The party insinuated that the information was leaked to the press to weaken Gantz’s chances against Netanyahu in the upcoming April 9 elections in light of Blue and White outperforming Likud in the polls.
Blue and White also asked Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to investigate the source of the leak.
In a message posted to his official Facebook page over the weekend, Netanyahu’s office said: “The lies put forth by the candidate for half the premiership [referring to Gantz’s agreement with Yesh Atid Party leader Yair Lapid to share the premiership on a rotating basis] won’t help. The Shin Bet confirmed that the prime minister didn’t know anything about the case involving Gantz. Even senior journalists are saying this.”