An ‘enemy of the internet’ that helps governments spy on citizens has been hacked

An ‘enemy of the internet’ that helps governments spy on citizens has been hacked

The (ironically-named) Hacking Team is an Italian security firm with a history of supplying surveillance technology to governments around the world, including some unpleasant regimes. It’s now been hacked itself.

As CSO Online reports, the source of the hack isn’t clear yet, but a torrent file with 400GB of internal documents, product source code and email archives is now public.

There’s no shortage of glee online about the development, particularly from privacy activists. Campaign group Reporters Without Borders lists Hacking Team on its Enemies of the Internet index.

Most of the strong criticism directed at the company is down to its surveillance tool Da Vinci, which it says can be used to break encryption on emails, files and IP calls.

While Hacking Team has long denied that it makes its “offensive technology” available to oppressive regimes, the leaked documents suggest its customers have included Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Russia and Sudan.

The latter countries are listed in the leaked files as “not officially supported”, suggesting that the company’s public pronouncements may not be backed up by its private behavior.

Screenshot 2015-07-06 09.28.12

Also listed among the firm’s clients and former clients are the US Department of Defense (shown as not active), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which is in the process of renewing its contract, and the FBI, which was working with it until June 30, 2015.

Hacking Team’s CEO Christian Pozzi, whose own personal information was exposed in the leak, has fruitlessly been trying to prevent the torrent file from spreading:

The leak of sensitive documents from Hacking Team comes just as UK Prime Minister David Cameron is pushing once again for new laws to allow British intelligence agencies to break encryption.

CSO Online has been providing excellent, thorough coverage of the developments around the leaks, so make sure to check out its post below. I’ve contacted Hacking Team for a response and will update this post if and when I receive one.

Hacking Team hacked, attackers claim 400GB in dumped data[CSO Online]

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