AP NEWS

Leading Israeli candidate for PM targeted by Iranian hackers

March 14, 2019
Blue and White party leaders, from the left, Moshe Yaalon, Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid and Gabi Ashkenazi,deliver a statement in Kibbutz Kfar Aza near the Israel Gaza border, Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

JERUSALEM (AP) — The campaign of a former Israeli military chief who is a leading challenger to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his tight race for re-election says the candidate has been targeted by an Iranian hacking attack.

Israeli media reported Thursday that the Shin Bet internal security service warned Benny Gantz that Iranian intelligence hacked his cellphone, putting “his personal details and addresses in hostile hands.”

A statement from Gantz’s campaign insinuated his opponents leaked the news to damage his political bid, saying the timing of the report just weeks before Israel’s April 9 elections “raises important questions.”

A campaign official says the security breach happened several months ago, before Gantz entered politics. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.