Feeds

Spyware-for-hire couple plead guilty

Israeli prison looms for Haephratis

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.