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Monday, December 5, 2005

Spear-Phishin' attack: "It's like my underwear was spread all over the streets"

Amnon Jackont is an Israeli author, who was the victim of a "spear-phishing" attack last year. He is still very wary when he goes online. He said:

I must tell you that I still have a reflex of uneasiness when I get onto the Internet - I feel a trauma... People don't like it when I say this, but it's like being raped. It's like my underwear was spread all over the streets. It was a severe breach of privacy.

The New York Times reported on Mr. Jackont's attack that eventually led to a massive computer fraud case in Isreal involving the use of spear-phishing:
a distilled and potentially more potent version of phishing. That's because those behind the schemes bait their hooks for specific victims instead of casting a broad, ill-defined net across cyberspace hoping to catch throngs of unknown victims.

The Tel Aviv district attorney's office has indicted 15 senior members of three of Isreal's largest detective agencies for involvement in the attack on Mr. Jackont and other firms and government agencies in Isreal. The three Israeli priviate detective agencies implicated are:

  • Modi'in Ezrahi
  • Zvi Krochmal Investigations
  • Pilosoph-Baleli

Michael Haephrati, 41 and his wife, Ruth, 28 were arrested in England last summer as part of the computer fraud investigation. Mr. Haephrati is the alledged mastermind. He designed and transmitted a Trojan e-mail message that was responsible for pickpocketing hundreds of computers including Mr. Jackont's. This Trojan e-mail was impervious to antivirus and anti-Trojan software.

Gone Spear-Phishin'[NY Times, Dec. 4, 2005]
Alan Turing was right [techworld.com, July 4, 2005]
Industrial Espionage using Trojan horses [financialcrypotgraphy.com, May 31, 2005]
Two Suspected Israeli Computer Hackers Face Extradition from London [debka.com, May 29, 2005]
PI arrested in industrial spying probe blasts police conduct [infowar-monitor.net]

Plague of Viruses, Worms, and Phishers [TJN, May 6, 2005]
Shadow Crew: International Identity Theft Organization [TJN, April 7, 2005]
On EBay, E-Mail Phishers Find a Well-Stocked Pond [TJN, Mar. 8, 2005]
You Can't Trust E-Mail [TJN, June 4, 2004]