Latest Espionage Case Underlines Threat

One of the biggest cases of industrial espionage in Israel throws a spotlight on the shadowy world of corporate competition and how easy it is to fall victim.
An industrial espionage ring currently under investigation in Israel is the largest case seen to date, said one security expert Tuesday, and likely to repeat itself in the future.

Police in Tel Aviv are currently investigating 18 individuals in Israel and London involved in a scheme to grab sensitive corporate information from competitors and use it to gain an advantage in bids for service and garner information on the competitors' corporate networks.

According to the authorities, the industrial espionage was perpetrated using a Trojan horse attached to e-mails, which were then subsequently installed by company employees. With the application in place, they said, information taken from corporate hard drives was sent to FTP servers located around the world.

The report also notes Interpol and the U.S. FBI were notified of the espionage ring, though FBI officials were not available for comment at press time.

The crimes were allegedly conducted at the behest of individual companies by several Israeli private investigations firms. Executives at Israeli-based telecom Bezeq reported over the weekend to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that officials from two of its subsidiaries, Pelephone and DBS Satellite Services, were involved in the espionage ring.

Bezeq itself was one of the victims of the activities, the statement read, and company officials were summoned by police to assess the extent of the damage caused by the leaked information.

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