INTELLIGENCE JUSTICE

Anti-terrorism prosecutors on anti-corruption chief Kovesi case: Israelis made threatening phone calls, phishing attacks

Ron Weiner and David Geclowicz, employees of an Israeli company, arrested for harassment of National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, have made several threatening phone calls and phishing attacks to obtain information from her e-mail accounts, the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) alleges.

According to a release by the DIICOT, Weiner and Geclowicz were remanded on Sunday, then arrested for 30 days pending trial, by a decision of the Bucharest Tribunal.

Weiner is charged with setting up a criminal organized group, illegal access to a computer system, unauthorized transfer of computer data, alteration of computer data integrity, in repeated acts, and of illegal operations with computer hardware and software.

Geclowicz is charged with setting up an organized crime group, accessory to illegal access to a computer system, accessory to unauthorized transfer of computer data, accessory to altering computer data integrity, and accessory to illegal operations with hardware and software.

“In this case, there is a reasonable suspicion that in March 2016, two individuals with key-positions within an Israeli company with offices in both Tel Aviv, Israel and London, UK, together with several employees of the company, among whom the two suspects, Weiner Ron and Geclowicz David, have initiated and set up an organized criminal group with the purpose to commit several offences, namely harassment and computer crimes, consisting in fact in multiple threatening and harassing phone calls as well as in phishing attacks, with a view to steal the access credentials and subsequently compromise the e-mail accounts, activities followed up by the violation of the mail secret, copying and transferring without right of mail contents,” says the DIICOT release.

Weiner and Geclowicz were assigned by the two leaders to precise roles and tasks within this group, the prosecution alleges; Weiner was in charge of the technical and computer side of the activity, having the necessary computer skills, dealing with the phishing attacks and the effective compromising of the e-mail accounts, whilst Geclowicz was in charge of previously contacting by phone the family and the people close to Kovesi and of getting the necessary contact data, meaning the exact e-mail addresses further targeted by computer attacks.

The DIICOT also alleges that Weiner, by unauthorized introduction the credentials of the legitimate owners, later accessed repeatedly and without right (with no authorization/consent of the legal owners), respectively by breach of security measures (IDs and passwords) the e-mail accounts of three people.

“After previously accessing the respective accounts online and taking over them, the perpetrator learned information and private correspondence stored in the said compromised accounts, computer data which he has copied and transferred with no authorization to his own computer system, thus making inherent alterations to the content of the attacked accounts,” the prosecutors add.

The DIICOT mentioned that presently Kovesi has no locus standi (the right to appear in court) in this case.

The investigation was carried out together with the judicial police officers within the Computer Crime Combatting Service (DCCO) and the Bucharest General Police Directorate (DGPMB).

According to a release by the Rise Project, four Israeli citizens are investigated by the DIICOT for spying communications and attempt of compromising DNA chief-prosecutor Kovesi. Two of the suspects, Dan Zorella and Avi Yanus allegedly ar ex-intelligence officers, co-founders and managers of the Black Cube Israeli private investigations company, where Meir Dagan, a former director of Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad from 2002 to 2011 activated.

 

DNA’s Kovesi: Alleged communication surveillance by Israeli agents a failed attempt of intimidation

 

National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi on Wednesday dismissed as a “failed attempt” some intimidation actions against her reported by media.

“It is a case under investigation by another Prosecutors Office, in which I have no quality and currently I cannot comment. It was a failed attempt of intimidation,” she said.

 

Black Cube defends its employees: The allegations against them are unfounded and untrue

 

In a statement released in response to the reports, the company says its employees were themselves investigating claims of corruption by the Romanian government.

“Recently, the company undertook a project in Romania to collect evidence of serious corruption in the Romanian government and its agencies. Whilst performing this work, two of the company’s employees were arrested after having made significant discoveries,” the statement read.

“Needless to say, all of the Black Cube’s employees follow local law to the letter, and the allegations against them are unfounded and untrue. We have total confidence that the truth will be revealed, and they will both be released safely to return home in the coming days”.

Former Mossad director Meir Dahan was honorary president of Black Cube until his death last month.

Black Cube utilizes experts “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” according to the company’s website.

 

Israeli Embassy: Investigation in Kovesi case targets private company’s employees, authorities not involved

 

The Embassy of Israel in Bucharest said on Wednesday that Israeli authorities are not involved in the case presented by Romanian media regarding attempts to intimidate head of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi by former Israeli intelligence officers, with the diplomatic mission stating that the investigation is targeted at employees of a private company.

”In connection with the situation made public today by Romanian media, the Embassy of Israel wants to clarify that the Israeli authorities are not involved in this case. We want to emphasize that this investigation is targeted at the employees of a private company which is not related whatsoever to any Israeli state institution,” the Embassy said in a release Agerpres on Wednesday.

 

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