Monday, May 30, 2005


Computer, She Wrote

I guess Hollywood and reality are merging:
JERUSALEM, May 30 -- Israel's business community has been rocked by a major computer espionage scandal that was uncovered when a husband-and-wife book-writing team complained to police that someone had hacked into their computer system and stolen files.
In a statement released over the weekend, police said they had discovered a "Trojan Horse" virus on Jackont's computer that they were able to trace to an unnamed source. The virus allowed the person to control the computer, make changes to its programs, monitor everything it contained and raid it for information -- all without leaving any hint of the virus's existence. Investigators also discovered that the same person had sold the "Trojan Horse" to three of Israel's largest private investigation companies, which used it to illegally collect data for their corporate clients.

Police said the virus was planted via e-mail or a promotional computer disk supposedly sent to the target company by a well-known and reliable business partner. They said dozens of companies may have been spied upon without ever realizing they were under surveillance.
Jackont said he believed the corporate espionage would have gone undetected had Haephrati not decided to harass him and his wife. "He's been obsessive and this was his tragic flaw," said Jackont...
(Source: Washington Post Caught in a Web of Spies
Anti-virus and anti-spyware ("anti-malware") programs work primarily via "wanted posters" and "profiling." (Comparing programs to known viruses and monitoring for suspicious behavior.) A custom-written spy program used selectively and updated to remain undetected by standard anti-malware programs can go undetected for quite some time, so don't install "Elf Bowling" or any of those other cute freeware programs...

This demonstrates two basic life principles:

1) Hubris isn't limited to President Bush; and,

2) He would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for those darn in-laws...


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