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[ISN] Israel, FBI find hacker suspected of stealing credit card numbers from U.S. company's computers


By Ramit Plushnick-masti
The Associated Press 
Dec 8 2002

Israeli police, aided by the FBI, have arrested an Israeli suspected
of hacking into computers of a U.S.-based electronics company and
stealing personal information, including credit card numbers, of some
80,000 customers, according to a court document released Sunday.

David Sternberg, 24, of the port city of Haifa, was arrested late
Friday while driving in a stolen car, police said. The FBI notified
the Israelis he was wanted in 2000 and police began searching for him
in 2001, according to the transcript of his detention hearing.

Sternberg allegedly broke into the computers of a large U.S. company
that sells CD-ROMs and DVDs, but police refused to release the name of
the company. The court document also did not mention the company's

"It's a company in the (United) States. The FBI had been in connection
with us about this case. ... He (Sternberg) was listed as wanted for
investigation," police spokesman Gil Kleiman said.

The U.S. Embassy spokesman said he had no immediate information about
the case.

The judge wrote in the hearing transcript that the evidence against
him was sound and extended his detention until Monday.

Sternberg is suspected of illegally breaking into the company's
computers to acquire customers' personal information and use it to
commit further crimes, the court document said. Police requested the
judge allow them to impound Sternberg's computers, the transcript

Three men were accused last month in the United States of carrying out
a US$2.7 million high-tech scam, the biggest in history. According to
the charges, the men sold the credit reports of their company's
customers, victimizing more than 30,000 people, some of whom
discovered bank accounts drained, addresses changed and new credit
cards ordered without their approval.

A well-known Israeli hacker who called himself "the Analyzer" was
accused in 1998 of infiltrating the U.S. Pentagon computer system.  
Ehud Tenenbaum, who was 18 at the time of his arrest, was suspected of
being the mentor of two other California teenagers. His intrusions
were described by a Pentagon spokesman as the most organized and
systematic attack the department had seen.

In more than two years of Israeli-Palestinian violence, cyberwar has
become an integral part of the fighting as Israeli and Palestinian
hackers attack rival websites and computers, crashing, jamming and
overwriting systems.

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