Spy tech company Hacking Team hacked, revealed to have sold spying tools to repressive regimes

If you’ve ever wanted to see what an awkward moment of momentous proportions looks like, then pay attention. Hacking Team, an Italian based company that assists police to hack citizens has been hacked. The provider of surveillance and intrusion software has been beaten at its own game.

The hackers released emails, internal emails, a torrent with 400GB of internal files, source code and communications on Hacking Team’s Twitter account, all appearing to confirm rumours that the company had sold spying tool.

The hackers dumped the information on Hacking Team’s Twitter account. The hackers also renamed the company’s Twitter account to “Hacked Team.”

The hacking happened on the weekend and as yet the hackers have remained have remained anonymous.

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The company has long been rumored to be selling its hacking and tracking software to governments. One such tool is called Davinci, a hacking suite for governmental interception, which allows access to SMS, emails, web browsing and more to locate specific targets.

Last year, Hacking Team was accused of selling its technologies to repressive regime, an accusation it denied but the new hack proves otherwise. Some of the leaked files have shown contracts with repressive government including Kazahkstan, Sudan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and others.

The other damning leak is that the the company supplied technology to Ethiopian authorities, which was used to spy on journalists and activists. This leak includes an email from an official linked to the Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister until his death in 2012. In the email, someone named Biniam Tewolde offers his thanks to Hacking Team for their help in getting a high value target. It is not known who this target was.

There is also an invoice that shows that Ethiopia paid one-million Birr (ETB) for Hacking Team’s Remote Control System, professional services, and communications equipment.

Hacking Team founder Christian Pozzi claimed on Twitter that the hackers have falsified the information they leaked about the company’s services and clients. He further added that Hacking Team was working with police on the issue.



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