Hacking Team, the Italian cyber security company claims that a government could have been responsible behind the attacks on its systems.
Unidentified attackers have downloaded last week from the company’s systems around 400GB of data, including software used for surveillance which lets intelligence agencies and the law enforcement to tap into the computers and phones of dangerous suspects.
Much of the leaked data, which also includes numerous private corporate emails, has been dumped since then onto the popular Wikileaks website. On top of this, source code from some secret programs has also been leaked on the Internet.
David Vincenzetti, the Hacking Team CEO said on Sunday that given the complexity of the hack, he believes that the attack has been carried by someone with huge funds or by a government. He didn’t give many details as to who might have been responsible for the attack, however.
Hacking Team advised its clients to limit the use of its applications until the company can provide an upgrade for the compromised software and warned that all computers may be vulnerable at the moment. The company said that after its investigation they have come to the conclusion that enough code was leaked in order to give anyone the power to attack any target they choose to. Hacking Team said that extortionists, terrorists and others can use this leaked technology as they wish to, if they have the necessary know-how.
The included emails in the leak reveal that the Italian company worked with a number of institutions of state in different countries, including Australia, Italy and the United States of America. The company also had numerous deals with countries that have been criticized for the state of their human rights, like Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Morocco, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Egypt and Libya.
Vincinzetti broke his silence after almost a week after the attack took place and he defended the company’s choice of clients, claiming that Hacking Team had never broken the trade law on the international level. The CEO claimed that when they realized that Ethiopia was spying on a journalist with the use of their software, the firm asked them for a reasonable explanation and ended the contract soon after.
Reporters Without Borders named Hacking Team in a report released in 2012 as one of five major private “Corporate Enemies of the Internet”. The leaked emails posted by Wikileaks also revealed that Hacking Team has been attempting to sell its products since 2012 to Cambodia.
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