Phones of former ministry heads were hacked by foreign state, not police – report

An Israeli cybersecurity company has examined the phones of three former ministry directors-general suspected of being the targets of a spyware attack and found they were hacked by a foreign state, according to a Sunday report.

ZecOps, which specializes in phone hacking, examined the devices of Shai Babad, the former director-general of the Finance Ministry; Keren Terner Eyal, also a former director-general of that ministry as well as of the Transportation Ministry; and Emi Palmor, a former director-general of the Justice Ministry, Channel 13 news reports.

The examination was launched after the three ministerial directors were named in a series of bombshell reports by the Calcalist newspaper in January as alleged targets of Israel Police spyware attacks.

According to the Channel 13 report, ZecOps confirmed that Babad, Terner Eyal and Palmor were never targeted by the police and were not hacked with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. The private firm could not specify which foreign entity targeted them.

Shai Babad, then-director general of the Finance Minister, attends a press conference at the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem, on December 11, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

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