Following a massive data breach on Sunday that exposed 400GB of its internal documents, product source code and correspondence, Italian security firm Hacking Team has issued a statement on its site, saying that its digital surveillance and intrusion tools could potentially be used by terrorists and extortionists.
The company has a history of supplying surveillance software to oppressive governments across the globe. One of its products, named Da Vinci, can be used to break into encrypted email and files.
In its statement, Hacking Team wrote:
Before the attack, Hacking Team could control who had access to the technology which was sold exclusively to governments and government agencies. Now, because of the work of criminals, that ability to control who uses the technology has been lost. Terrorists, extortionists and others can deploy this technology at will if they have the technical ability to do so.
We believe this is an extremely dangerous situation.
Hacking Team is evaluating if it is possibile (sic) to mitigate the danger. We expect too that anti-virus companies are upgrading their programs to detect the compromised Remote Control System (RCS).
The company says its engineers are working to patch its software so its clients can resume “criminal and intelligence investigations.” It adds that most of its clients have accepted its request to suspend the use of its compromised systems.
In addition, Hacking Team has denied claims that its software has ‘backdoors’ that allow the company to remotely control it on clients’ systems.
Shortly after its systems were breached, CEO Christian Pozzi attempted to dissuade people from downloading a 400GB torrent containing Hacking Team’s app source code and email archives. His Twitter account was subsequently hacked and shut down. The attacker’s identity is still unknown.
➤ Information related to the attacks on Hacking Team on July 6, 2015 [Hacking Team]