There is a big scandal going on in Israel regarding the trojan horse fiasco that just broke out. It seems that everyone was spying on everybody else. If you are interested in the progress of this security drama, I suggest that you read the Israeli news papers rather than CNN or NYT. You will get a lot more insight with the Israeli outlets.
The â€œadversaryâ€™sâ€ goal was to acquire strategic information about competing companies from their advertising agencies rather than attacking them directly. Many high profile companies are involved and there is a likely potential of a major shakeup in the Israeli economy.
The interesting twist of the story is how the police purportedly got a break in the case. The alleged author of the trojan horse, Michael Haâ€™ephrati, had a vindictive obsession with his x-parents in law. He wanted to destroy their book authoring careers and aggressively harassed them over the internet by acquiring personal information from their PC using his software. He also published work in progress of a book and other sensitive data including editing his personal entry (now revised) on Wikipedia. This went on for months until the couple gave the police a CD with a manuscript from an individual they previously spoke with (some social engineering action here.) This CD contained the malicious code that aided to singling out Haâ€™ephrati. This code was to be installed on the PC when they used the CD; they never did. Bottom line? No matter how advanced the technology is, itâ€™s basic human traits, greed and revenge, that bring people down.
While reading the related articles bear in mind the following:
1. Israel is a very small country and basically, everybody knows everybody. For example, if I wanted to talk to a government minister, I would have to make 2 phone calls to talk to him/her directly; itâ€™s all about who you know. What this means is that it is very hard to keep secrets and there is much more than meets the eye at this early stage and a lot more information will creep/leak out in the next few weeks so keep tuned.
2. Israel is a â€œlittleâ€ behind on privacy legislation. It is my belief that most of the people arrested would get away with these crimes (or be lightly fined) since it will be argued that what they did was not a crime by law. Also, remember that these are people who stand at the top of very big corporations, and like in many other countries stand a much better chance of getting away with financial crimes than the regular joe schmoe. Hopefully, that will be rectified in the future. Haâ€™ephrati and his wife, Ruti, were arrested in the UK and are expected to be extradited; however, there is still a chance they will be prosecuted there for their alleged UK crimes.
Hereâ€™s a list of Israeli news sites to visit for coverage:
Haaretz, YNET, Jerusalem Post and Globes (financial.) You can also try debka news where you will usually find more detailed/”insider” information than other sources. However, the information is typically un-sourced and many times questionable. It is a fun read and riddled with conspiracy theories… I would not take it too seriously though.