Man jailed for 3 years in Bank Yahav money extortion case

Man jailed for 3 years in Bank Yahav money extortion case

Court also fines Lior Sharabi, 32, who stole the bank's databases and threatened to publish them if he didn't receive millions' worth of Bitcoins

Illusrative image of Bank Yahav. (Nati Shahat/Flash90)
Illusrative image of Bank Yahav. (Nati Shahat/Flash90)

An Israeli man was sentenced on Monday to three years in jail for hacking an Israeli bank’s computer system and trying to blackmail the bank for millions of dollars worth of Bitcoins.

The Tel Aviv District Court also handed Lior Sharabi, 32, a suspended sentence and a NIS 25,000 ($7,100) fine, for his attempts to extort Bank Yahav.

According to a statement by the cyber department of Israel’s State Attorney, Sharabi admitted to the offenses in a plea bargain after a mediation process.

The Pardes Hanna resident is a former worker at Active Trail, a company that supplies direct mailing services to thousands of clients. According to the indictment, he repeatedly broke into the company’s computing systems without authorization, and copied hundreds of databases stored on its servers that contained private information about millions of people.

Sharabi used the databases to compile lists of wealthy people, which he then sold to an investment company.

Sharabi also sent dozens of threatening emails to senior executives at Bank Yahav and at Active Trail, demanding millions of shekels’ worth of Bitcoins. He warned that otherwise he would post databases belonging to the bank and to the company on the Darknet, causing significant financial damage. He also threatened to send them to journalists.

The court accepted the plea bargain, stating that it was appropriate and matches the graveness of the offenses committed. The defendant’s relatively lenient punishment was justified on the grounds that he cooperated fully with his interrogators from the police cyber department, and committed the crimes over a relatively short period of time, without previous offenses.

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