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Home » Hacking News » Israeli Trojan business war

Israeli Trojan business war

by Nikola Strahija on May 30th, 2005 Israeli police announced they arrested 18 people, including executives of Cellcom Israel Ltd., the country's largest mobile phone company, and Bezeq Israeli Communication Corp. Ltd.'s wireless unit in connection with espionage against domestic and foreign companies.

The Tel Aviv police district said on its website that it has discovered a "Trojan horse" software program that was being used for industrial espionage against leading Israeli and foreign companies.

Partner Communications Ltd., Israel's second largest cellular operator, was a target of the espionage, as well as Strauss-Elite Ltd., Israel's second biggest food maker.

Discount Investment Corp., which owns 25 per cent of Cellcom, said in a statement to the stock exchange that police were searching Cellcom's offices and that a Cellcom employee who was arrested as part of the investigation had been freed on bail.

"The company acts according to law and is co-operating fully with the police investigation," a company spokeswoman said, reading a statement over the telephone. Executives from Cellcom and Bezeq's wireless unit Pele-Phone Communications Ltd. were held for questioning and released yesterday.

"In the worst case, Cellcom and Pele-Phone or their executives may be indicted for industrial espionage and may be punished with fines or other measures, said Alon Sanovsky, an analyst at Ubank Ltd. in Tel Aviv.
Other companies that fell victim to the espionage net include Mayanot Eden Ltd., a bottler of mineral water, and the business daily Globes.

No information was immediately available from police or local media on what kind of materials were gleaned from the companies targeted.
Israel's mobile phone market is highly competitive, with penetration of close to 100 per cent. DBS has been fighting the cable companies for market share since it was set up in 1998. The DBS executive is being investigated for hiring an agency to spy on the partnership of three cable companies it competes with.

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