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Trojan-writing couple deported to Israel
by Konstantin Kornakov | Feb 02 2006 14:05 GMT

Michael and Ruth Haephrati from London have been deported to Israel after months of legal wrangling. They are suspected of developing and selling a Trojan program that was widely used in industrial espionage.

The original story broke last May: Israeli authorities announced that private investigators had been using the Trojan to gather confidential business and client data. Managers of several leading Israeli companies were arrested on suspicion of industrial espionage. At the same time, British authorities were holding the alleged authors of the Trojan in London.

The couple have now been flown to Tel Aviv, having decided not to appeal against the deportation decision. On arrival they were immediately placed in custody. Claims have been made in the Israeli press that the couple will offer to testify against clients who purchased their Trojan software in order to receive a lighter sentence. However, their lawyer only admitted having made preliminary contact with the prosecution and declined to comment further.

Hacking carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment in Israel. This can be increased if the crime involved data theft. According to information presented during the extradition hearing in Britain, 45 companies sustained damage as a result of the Trojan. Several other suspects are also currently standing trial in Tel Aviv in connection with the alleged industrial espionage.


Jerusalem Post