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by Dave Gradijan

Israeli Couple Get Jail Time, Fines for Trojan

Mar 27, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

On Monday, an Israeli couple convicted of creating a Trojan computer virus that led to a large-scale industrial espionage investigation were sentenced to jail and ordered to pay fines of 2 million shekels (roughly $427,000) to their victims, Reuters reports.

Ruth Haephrati was sentenced to four years in prison, and her husband and accomplice, Michael, was sentenced to two years, as part of a plea bargain reached between the couple and prosecutors, according to Reuters.

The two were first arrested at their London residence last year and were extradited to Israel, Reuters reports.

The Haephratis were charged with creating a Trojan virus, or a computer virus that’s hidden in an e-mail or other file that appears to be harmless but infects machines once opened, according to Reuters.

The couple sold the virus to private investigators in the country, who then used it to help a number of top Israeli companies spy on each other, Reuters reports.

A number of private investigators have been indicted on related charges, and Israeli law enforcement has initiated investigations into some of the countries’ top telecommunications companies, according to Reuters.

Michael Haephrati reportedly developed the Trojan as part of a prank designed to spy on his ex-wife’s family, according to Reuters.

The couple tried to sell the virus to Israeli defense agencies before delivering it to private investigators working for corporations, Reuters reports.

For related coverage, read New Trojan Encrypts Data, Demands Ransom.

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