By Nathan Statz
April 30, 2008
A team of Israeili private investigators has been jailed on industrial
espionage charges for their use of spyware to steal commercial secrets.
Four members of the Israeli Modi'in Ezrahi private investigation firm
have been found guilty of using a Trojan to fleece commercial
information. Asaf Zlotovsky, a manager at the firm was jailed for 19
months, with two other employees given 18 and 9 month sentences.
The Trojan Horse itself was traced back to London-based couple Michael
and Ruth Haephrati who were jailed over their involvement in the case in
Security firm, Sophos is warning businesses to be on their guard against
rogue agencies who offer up information on their competitors.
"It's understandable that firms would want information on what their
business rivals are planning to do, and try to seek a competitive
advantage over them. What isn't acceptable is to hire firms that will
use illegal methods, such as computer spyware, to gather that
information," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at
According to Cluley, regular cyberciminals may be attempting to steal
your employee's credit card details, but spyware can also be used for
corporate espionage designed to steal your business plans and customer
"Firms need to be very careful about the third parties they hire to help
them grow their business, and seek assurances that their partners will
not be behaving unethically or illegally. If they do not, the
consequences could not only be a swathe of bad publicity, but also a
spell in prison."
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