If you were under the impression that the more or less bright minds behind trojans and viruses are acne teenagers who live in mansards or some sleazy apartment, you were completely wrong, as this activity can be a family business.
It's true that there are risks, and Ruth Brier-Haephrati and her husband Michael Haephrati have experienced them.
According to Reuters, the Israeli couple was convicted for inventing a
computer virus that set off a major industrial-espionage investigation.
The sentence was pronounced today in Israel, after the two cyber criminals were extradited in January from the UK.
In this case, it's interesting to notice that although Michael Haephrati was the one who developed the trojan, the court decided to give the wife a harsher punishment, four years, because she marketed the malicious code.
The trojan horse is said to have been used by private investigators to spy on the Rani Rahav PR agency, whose clients include Israel's second biggest mobile phone operator Partner Communications, and the HOT cable television group.
"This case sends out a strong message that the menace of spyware is growing, and that companies need to realise that it's not just home users who are at risk," Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security software company Sophos, told Computer Weekly .
"Organised criminals are hell bent on stealing information and making a profit at the expense of big business," he added.