Spyware Provider ‘Hacking Team’ Hacked

Hacking Team, an Italian surveillance and spyware software maker have suffered a data breach at the hand of hackers, who then dumped the data to public Bit Torrent networks. The alleged data breach contains emails, source code for the spyware software and audio recordings, totally at nearly 400 GB of data, reported by The Register.

The Da Vinci spyware and the truth from the hack

Da Vinci is one of the products sold by the Hacking Team as a software to law enforcement agencies and governments. It is without question deemed among the most elusive spyware and malware providers used by governments.

While Hacking Team insists that such software is only sold to ethical governments, it is tagged as the ‘Enemy of the Internet’ by Reporters Without Borders, an activist outfit who vehemently stand for free speech.

As it turns out, the data breach carried out by the yet-unknown hackers who targeted the Milan-based Hacking Team revealed and exposed some of the company’s dealings. According to several reports, the documents reveal the company’s dealings with countries with a poor track record on civil liberties and human rights. Those looking into the breached documents highlight that Hacking Team have sold their spyware software to countries such as Bahrain, Sudan, Oman, Lebanon, and Egypt.

Until recently, the means through which firms such as the Hacking Team provide technology and solutions for oppressive regimes remained a mystery. Eva Galperin, a global policy analyst at the EFP (Electronic Frontier Foundation) said in a recent tweet that countries presumed to be customers of the Milan-based Italian company included Morocco, Mexico and Panama, as well as allied nations such as the US, Australia and Germany.

The company had recently denied accusations of their spyware and targeted mass surveillance malware being sold to Sudan. The data breach however, revealed that the company invoiced the Sudanese Government to pay $530,000 by wire-transfer for the purchasing of ‘remote control’ systems. This software is routinely used to access the personal information of a targeted user.

Hackers are currently tweeting the alleged contents of emails stolen from Hacking Team CEO David Vincenzetti, over various accounts in social media.

Stay tuned to the Lifars Blog for more on this developing story that isn’t likely to go away anytime soon.