Hackers hacked: Malware firm's data leaked, ties with regimes exposed
The Milan-based Hacking Team develops spyware and malware tools that can target computers and mobile devices across various platforms. The company maintained that it legally sold its products to be used for law enforcement.
Over the weekend it was apparently targeted by a cyber-attack that resulted in 400 gigabytes of its internal documents and source code leaked online. The identity of those who leaked the sensitive information or the way they obtained it remains unknown. However, the attackers gained control of Hacking Team's corporate Twitter account to report the breach and share a link to a Torrent file with the stolen data.
help, we're being attacked! pic.twitter.com/i2mWW2gqr9
— Hacked Team (@hackingteam) 6 июля 2015
The hack has shone a spotlight on the widespread demand for such services from governments around the world.
Among Hacking Team’s clients in invoices and other documents, dozens of countries are mentioned, including Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, the United States, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Australia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxemburg, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
— Eva (@evacide) 6 июля 2015
The documents appear to confirm earlier accusations by critics that Hacking Team was dealing with various governments, many of which have questionable human rights records.
The firm's ties with Sudan are of special embarrassment, since previously Hacking Team publicly denied selling its tools to Sudan. The firm required that the Sudanese government paid them €480,000 ($530,000) by wire transfer for "remote control" systems used to access a target's personal data.
The leak deals a blow to the reputation of the controversial company. Reporters Without Borders has listed Hacking Team on its Enemies of the Internet index.