14:47 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Israeli Opposition Dispels Rumours of Russian Hacker Attack on Bloc Leader's Phone

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    Israel's Channel 12 previously reported, citing the findings of tech security company CGI, that Russian hackers had breached a phone belonging to Benny Gantz, the Blue and White party leader, and those of other top alliance figures.

    Israel's opposition Blue and White bloc has dismissed reports about an attempted Russian hacker attack on a phone belonging to their politician Benny Ganz, the primary political opponent of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    "Neither Russians nor Iranians hacked our phones. What we see here is an attempt to divert attention from important issues...to a story that did not happen", one of the leaders of the bloc, former defence minister Moshe Yalon, said in an interview to Army Radio.

    According to alliance representatives, the electronic devices of the Blue and White's leaders were suspected of being compromised, but those suspicions were not confirmed. The centrist bloc believes that similar attempts, real or fake, would likely be initiated by the party's political opponents who fear a Ganz victory in the elections on 17 September.

    Meanwhile, a Russian diplomatic source responded to the rumours by saying that they are not worth commenting on and are fake.

    Just three weeks before the parliamentary elections in Israel, reports emerged indicating a major Russian hacker attack against Ganz's bloc. According to the report citing conclusions by tech security audit company CGI, Russian hackers had breached the phones of party leader Benny Gantz, as well as phones belonging to Hod Betzer, Ido Har-Tuv and Ronen Moshe – Gantz's chief of staff, campaign leader and adviser, correspondingly.

    Similar reports also surfaced in March, ahead of April's elections, suggesting that Iran attempted to hack into Ganz's phone. The party also dismissed that report, observing that the timing was suspicious.

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    election, hackers, security, Russia, Israel
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