Hackers hacked. One of the more odious “cyber-security” companies in the world, Hacking Team, is in the news for all the wrong reasons. The Italy-based company is notorious for selling spyware products to some of the world’s worst regimes, although it has long insisted it only sells to NATO-approved governments. In 2012, Reporters Without Borders deemed it an official Enemy Of The Internet. In a hack reminiscent of the famous HBGary Federal Anonymous effort of 2011 — which revealed a trove of secrets about US cyber-defence companies and a plan to destroy WikiLeaks — Hacking Team has been broken into and hacked, with 400 GBs (yes, GBs) of files put online by an unidentified source in a humongous cache that will take months to process. Already, many of the regimes that the company sells products to — for example, spyware designed to enable regimes to track down dissidents or take control of their PCs — have been listed. And on the list, as reported byiTnews is our very own Australian Federal Police, which secretly spent over $360,000 in 2011 to buy the company’s spyware and malware. As the HBGary hack showed, the documents are likely to be the kind of gift that keeps on giving, for those with the bandwidth and storage space to go through them.
When hackers get hacked
The Australian Federal police have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on malware and spyware to monitor Australians.