Trojan Horse developers indicted

Plea bargain reached with Michael and Ruth Haephrati before indictment is submitted.

haephrati 88 (photo credit: )
haephrati 88
(photo credit: )
The Tel Aviv District Attorney's Office on Sunday filed a 65-page indictment against the creators and distributors of the Trojan Horse spy program, but announced at the same time that it had reached a plea bargain arrangement with the defendants. "There is a plea bargain arrangement with Ruth and Michael Haephrati, but the prosecution usually presents the agreement to the court, and this is what we will do in this case as well," said Attorney Haim Wismonsky, senior deputy to the Tel Aviv District Attorney (Criminal Affairs.) Wismonsky said he would reveal the agreement to Tel Aviv District Court next week. He told reporters that the defendants, Ruth and Michael Haefrati, had confessed to most of the charges against them. In the indictment, the Haephratis were accused of developing a program known as the Trojan Horse, which was capable of revealing many details of the contents of others' computers which it has infiltrated. Michael Haefrati developed and refined the program, while his wife, Ruth, marketed it and maintained contact with several private investigation companies which bought it and installed it in the computers of its clients' rivals. The private investigation companies included Balali-Philosof Investigations, Krochmal Special Investigations and Modi'in Ezrahi - Investigations. The indictment included three separate sections on the relations between the Haephratis and each of the three companies and included appendices listing the victims who were spied on by each one of them. The victims included the Hot Group, Zilumatik, Mei Eden, Ace, Shekem Electric, Dubek, Steimatzki, Champion Motors, Ran Rahav Communications and Public Relations, Gestetner and many others. The couple was also accused of spying on the computer of Amnon Jacont and writer Varda Raziel-Jacont. Sections of a book the couple co-wrote mysteriously appeared on the internet before it was published. Michael Haephrati had been married to Raziel-Jacont's daughter, Natalia. They became suspicious of Haephrati when he signed a nasty review of the book which appeared on the internet with the secret code Jacont was using at the time to log on to his e-mail account. It was their complaint that led to the investigation against their former son-in-law and his current wife. According to the indictment, Ruth Haephrati was the main culprit in the affair. She was the one who was in touch with the clients and who tried to expand business by seeking new customers. The prosecution regarded Michael is regarded as Ruth's assistant and the charges filed against him were less severe. Although he knew about her business efforts, his job was to perfect the program and tailor it to the needs of specific clients.