Israelis Charged with Trojan Crimes

Computing Magazine reports that two London-based computer consultants who were extradited to Israel last month have now been charged for the crime of creating and distributing Trojan spy software.

An indictment, filed by the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office, accuses Ruth and Michael Haephrati of creating the Trojan software, and selling it to Israeli private detective agencies who used it to spy on competitors of their clients, including a TV company, a PR agency and a car importer.

Ruth Haephrati has been charged with aggravated fraud, inserting material and viruses into a computer, unlawful wire tapping, invasion of privacy and unlicensed database management. Michael Haephrati is charged with assisting his wife in these crimes.

The couple, who ran London-registered computer consultancy Target-Eya, were arrested in May of 2005 following an international investigation by police, including the Tel Aviv fraud squad, Interpol and the UK’s National Hi-Tech Crime Unit.

The arrests are part of Operation Horse Race, an international investigation looking at how Trojan software and other hacking tools are used for espionage.