We didn’t know anything about what he was doing except that it was something important.DebkaFile
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Two Suspected Israeli Computer Hackers Face Extradition from London
DEBKAfile Special Update 2
NINE of Israel’s top business executives and 11 heads of three leading inquiry companies — including Modiin Ezrahi — are in custody suspected of complicity in a massive computerized commercial espionage conspiracy.
Sunday, [May 29, 2005] the Tel Aviv magistrate lifted a gag order on the case code-named Horse Race. The prosecution is reported to have located a state witness.
Michael Häphrati, who was arrested with his wife in London Thursday, May 26, is suspected of designing the illegal raider software called Trojan Horse for the three inquiry firms,
They offered clients business intelligence on their rivals, some of whom trade on the stock exchange, by illegally planting spy software in the targeted computers and downloading their classified data.
Clients under suspicion of accepting the offer include Volvo Motors importers, Yes satellite TV, Pelephone and Cellcom cell phone license- holders. Their senior officers are in custody.
Their victims included Orange (Partner) Cell phones, Hot cable TV, Strauss-Elite, Champion Motors, Mei Eden mineral water, Ace DIY, and Zoglobek sausages.
Earlier, DEBKAfile reported:
Michael Häphrati, 41, and Ruth Brier-Häphrati, 28, were arrested by Scotland Yard in London on an Israeli extradition warrant and remanded in custody in Brixton and Holloway prisons until a further hearing on June 3.
Apart from “unauthorized modification of the contents of a computer” between December 12, 2004 and February 28 this year, the charges against the couple are subject to an all-inclusive Israeli court gag order.
In professional intelligence literature, this locution usually refers to industrial espionage by the illegal invasion of computers. The offense most often takes the form of an unauthorized “mirror” planted in a target’s computer to download its contents to another computer. The kind of software used is not new; it derives from the PROMIS program developed in the United States in the 1980s to help the US Justice Department and the FBI crack financial crime cases. The targets of PROMIS and its offspring never know they are raided, their firewalls penetrated and their passwords cracked.
Over the years, many intelligence agencies, including Israel’s, upgraded the earlier PROMIS, and developed better protective software against these silent invaders. Some of their experts ended up on the world market, notably in the US, India, Russia, and probably Israel too. They can be found selling their expertise to security and financial companies — or even to organized crime. The illegal practitioners are known in professional parlance as “black hat hackers.”
Corporate America has suffered vast losses, estimated in many billions of dollars, from such hackers who are contracted by rival businesses to lift their customer lists, the contents of their contracts, their marketing strategy and financial situation. It is believed that most victims decide not to complain to the police for fear of publicity that would ruin their business and undermine their stocks. The soundless black hat hackers often as not get away with their crime. Indeed, many are hired by victimized business to trace the intruders and strengthen its security. The underground hacker will then come in from the cold and become a “white hat hacker.”
The Scotsman reports that before he was arrested on the Israeli extradition warrant, Michael Häphrati, who also has German nationality, was questioned by detectives from the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit on a “separate matter.” He was released by the unit on police bail Wednesday, May 25, pending further inquiries into allegations of “offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.” Later, he was detained by Scotland Yard on the extradition matter.
British legal experts told DEBKAfile that the UK National Hi-Tech Crime Unit’s inquiry indicates Häphrati is also suspected of computer offenses in Britain as well as Israel. The British can be expected to insist on precedence for their inquiry and legal proceedings before handing him over to Israel. This could hold up the Israeli process for many months.
The suspect’s sister Shifra Häphrati, a playwright who lives in Tel Aviv, is in London to look after the couple’s six-year old child, Emma.
Asked after the Bow Street hearing about her brother, she said, “We didn’t know anything about what he was doing except that it was something important. “
The mystery deepens.
. . . on this website
- Our dossier on the Mossad
- Archives show Israeli spy’s passport sparked 1974 secret British row: The use of forged British passports by Mossad assassination squads
- Nasty surprise for some: FBI slaps Grand Jury subpoenas on officials of AIPAC, pro-Israel lobby group, over war secrets smuggled to Israel | FBI steps up AIPAC probe
- Detroit Free Press, Oct 13, 2000 Spy charges false, man claims
- At home with the family of NZ Mossad agent Ze’ev Barkan
- Nov 2004: Fawning profile of Meir Dagan (born Huberman), current head of the Mossad
- The 2004 New Zealand Mossad agents affair:Secrecy surrounds two Mossad agents when they reappear in Auckland court on NZ passport forgery charges | Police fear al Qaeda terrorists using NZ passports following arrest of 2 men in Thailand and seizure of fake NZ passports | The two Mossad agents charged with NZ passport offences photographed in Auckland reporting to police as part of bail conditions | Two men believed by senior Government figures to be Israeli secret service agents have been arrested in Auckland trying to obtain a false New Zealand passport | One Mossad agent entered NZ on a fake Canadian passport | Mossad sending hostile New Zealand Message Via Asian-Based organisations after arrest of two agents | NZ government keeps up expensive surveillance of two Israeli agents | New Zealand jails two Mossad spies, prime minister Helen Clark (right) punishes Israel | Jewish pain in NZ, Australia | outrage at immediate mystery attack on Jewish gravestones in NZ | Govt fury at claims of bias from NZ Jewish Council | Israel’s Knesset urged to probe bungled Mossad operation | Suspicions voiced that New Zealand Jews smashed up their own cemetery | Kiwi caper is worst of many Mossad blunders | Jailed gang leaders defer to Israelis jailed by NZ | Israeli autopsy on bungled Mossad operations in NZ: graves desecration was unplanned | NZ Foreign Minister Phil Goff likely to face Israel at UN debate | Uh-oh Jewish spies leave NZ after serving half their prison term; but their $100,000 donation to Cerebral Palsy Society (ordered by court) has not yet been paid | At home with the family of NZ Mossad agent Ze’ev Barkan | Mossad spy Eli Cara becomes top Israeli credit-card (Visa) executive.
- Israel admits it assassinated Hamas official in Syria (we wonder what unlucky country’s passport the Mossad hit men used)
- Yet another fake-passport factory found in NZ
- Janes Intelligence on the Pentagon’s Israeli spies: A Mole called Mega | FBI turns up heat on AIPAC as confessed Pentagon spy has stopped cooperating
- Alan Dershowitz The Harvard Law Professor who sat on an Israeli Assassination Target Review Panel
- Was Nick Berg one of them? Jun 2004: Hundreds of Mossad agents in Iraq working to create a Kurdish counterforce against Baghdad |
- Navy locks down King’s Bay Submarine Base (Georgia) Friday after two Israeli “movers” are detained for questioning | Daniel Hopsicker reports: Israeli “movers” in submarine-base scare to be … freed | Two Israelis held for deportation
- Robert Fisk: Israeli Mossad and Shin Bet Associated with Prison Torture
- May 19, 2004: BBC reports that Lebanon smashes Mossad assassination ring
- May 13, 2004: The 1979 Mossad Assassination attempt on Ambassador John Dean: Dean papers with full taste of Mossad’s evil opened at Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Library
- May 9, 2004: Israelis with fake docs arrested in Tennessee, ‘how to fly’ leaflet found; were seen to toss something else out of Ryder truck, FBI called in
- May 1, 2004: Crown Prince Abdullah says Zionists behind Terror attacks in Saudi Arabia
- A history of Mossad’s overseas bungling