Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Israeli Computer Industrial Espionage

Bruce Schneier summarised the Haaretz article
Dozens of leading companies and top private investigators were named yesterday as suspects in a massive industrial espionage investigation that local police have been conducting for the past six months.

The companies suspected of commissioning the espionage, which was carried out by planting Trojan horse software in their competitors' computers, include the satellite television company Yes, which is suspected of spying on cable television company HOT; cell-phone companies Pelephone and Cellcom, suspected of spying on their mutual rival Partner; and Mayer, which imports Volvos and Hondas to Israel and is suspected of spying on Champion Motors, importer of Audis and Volkswagens. Spy programs were also located in the computers of major companies such as Strauss-Elite, Shekem Electric and the business daily Globes.

Link (via Bruce Schneier), also reported on Wired.

A case of an "insider" attack, an insider tricked into introducing the trojan into the infected computers, something that would even escape anti-virus programs because each trojan was programmed uniquely at a cost of NIS16,000 each or approximately USD3,600. Now that's peanuts judging by the company secrets it was stealing and the damage it was doing to its rivals. It'll make an interesting case study, and it's only the beginning.

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