Report: Russians hacked Blue and White party, Gantz denies

The CGI report to Blue and White had called the hacker attack “powerful and unusual, of a kind we have never encountered before.” But Blue and White leader Gantz denied party members’ phones had been hacked. 

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz went on Army Radio Thursday to deny a Channel 12 report the night before that Russian hackers had broken into his phone as well those of other party officials.

Gantz confirmed that the party had hired a company called CGI, run by former Shin Bet head and Yesh Atid MK Yaakov Peri, to check on phones belonging to him, his campaign manager, chief of staff and adviser, but that nothing had been found.

“There was a suspicion that the phones had been hacked, but this has been rejected,” Gantz said in the interview.

Whatever was wrong with the phones, he added, “I don’t believe the Russians were involved, and I do not want to believe there is an element in the country that is instigating the Russians in this campaign. The report we received did not mention Russian involvement.”

With the elections less than three weeks away, some party insiders pointed an accusing finger at CGI for leaking the information of a possible cyber security breakdown, which could damage Gantz’s reputation.

A similar story in March, in which the Shin Bet reportedly told Gantz that Iranian elements had hacked the former chief-of-staff’s phone, made for bad press just a few weeks before the April elections.

Peri strongly denied the insinuations against his firm and insisted that there had been a serious attempt to get information from the phones.

The rumor that the company is behind the leaks is “a gross defamation without foundation and far from the truth,” he said, calling it an attempt to “shoot the messenger.”

“Blue and White asked for information about competitors in the campaign,” he explained on Israel Radio’s Channel 2 later Thursday morning, “and we detected four to five contaminated phones….

“We are convinced there was an intrusion, most probably from hostile Eastern European elements. I don’t know why there was no contact with the police yet” by the party, he said.

The CGI report to Blue and White had called the hacker attack “powerful and unusual, of a kind we have never encountered before.”

One party insider denied that there was any problem to Israel Hayom.

“We deny the report, and the fact that anyone is listening in on even one phone. There’s nothing. We’re convinced of this because we checked the phones that they say were broken into.”