Benny Gantz and his wife cast their votes on April 9. (Nir Keidar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Report: Russia Hacks Phones, Computers of Israeli Election Front-runner

A firm hired by Israel’s Blue and White political list – which garnered the same amount of seats in April’s election as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party – has reportedly uncovered a massive Russian operation to hack the phones and computers of leader Benny Gantz and his aides. The CGI intelligence agency was initially hired by Blue and White to identify the source of media leaks from the political alliance’s top ranks. According to Israel’s Channel 12, the perpetrators of the “intense and unusual” cyber-attack have already accessed the entire contents of the personal phones of Gantz, his chief of staff and campaign manager. Blue and White representatives immediately denied the report, accusing CGI of lying about the hack in order to get paid quicker. Earlier this year, Israeli media reported that Iran had hacked Gantz’s personal phone, a claim he likewise denied. The issue of Russian election interference came to the fore during the 2016 US presidential campaign. Blue and White is currently polling neck-and-neck with the Likud ahead of the September 17 national vote.

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