[ISN] Spyware probe couple deported to Israel

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Feb 1 07:25:26 EST 2006


By John Leyden
31st January 2006 

Spyware-for-hire suspects Michael and Ruth Haephrati arrived in Israel
on Monday to face industrial espionage charges following their
extradition from Britain. The couple, alleged masterminds behind a
spyware-linked industrial espionage program, face trial in their
native Israel after dropping an appeal against deportation.

Investigators allege the dynamic duo developed and sold customised
spyware or Trojan horse packages designed to evade detection by
security tools to three private investigation companies in Israel -
Modi'in Ezrahi, Zvi Krochmal, and Philosof-Balali, The Jerusalem Post
reports. This spyware code was allegedly installed on victims' PCs by
private detectives from a diskette or via email, as part of a spying
scam that ran for up to two years. The malware sent stolen documents
to an FTP site, allowing unscrupulous firms to swipe confidential
documents from rivals. Each software installation allegedly netted the
Haephratis £2,000.

Firms suspected of using the malware include Mayer Motors (an importer
of Volvo and Honda cars) against Champion Motors (an Audi and
Volkswagen dealership), satellite television company Yes is accused of
spying on rival cable TV outfit HOT, while Israeli mobile phone firms
Pelephone and Cellcom are accused of spying Haaretz reports.

The Haephratis are two of 22 people arrested in Israel and the UK in
connection with the case, some of who are currently on trial in
Israel's Tel Aviv District Court. ®

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