Feeds

Spyware-for-hire couple plead guilty

Israeli prison looms for Haephratis

High performance access to file storage

An Israeli couple faces prison after confessing to the development and sale of a spyware Trojan horse that helped private investigators snoop on their clients' business competitors.

Ruth Brier-Haephrati, 28, and Michael Haephrati, 44, have entered guilty pleas to industrial espionage charges over the Trojan horse case. Ruth was charged with a litany of offences including fraud, planting computer viruses, and conspiracy. Her husband, Michael, is charged with aiding and abetting those offences, Ha'aretz reports. Ruth faces four years in jail while Michael faces two years' imprisonment. Each also faces a suspended sentence and a fine of one million New Israeli Shekels ($212K) under a plea-bargaining agreement. Tel Aviv District Court Judge Bracha Ofir-Tom will rule on whether the Haephrati's plea is acceptable on 27 March.

Investigators allege the 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. 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 New Israeli Shekels ($425), The Jerusalem Post reports. According to court documents, Michael Haephrati developed the spyware Trojan horse, while his wife, Ruth, marketed it via a firm called Target-Eya.

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. Another alleged victim is a PR agency, whose clients include Israel's second biggest mobile phone operator, Partner Communication. The Haephratis are among 22 people arrested in Israel and the UK in connection with the case last year. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.