Hacking Team gets hacked; invoices suggest spyware sold to repressive govts

A controversial company that sells weaponized spyware has been penetrated by hackers who claim to have plundered more than 400GB worth of e-mails, source code, and other sensitive data—including invoices showing that the firm has done business in countries ruled by highly repressive governments.

Italy-based Hacking Team has long denied selling to nations with poor human rights records. It instead markets itself as a supplier of customized software for law enforcement departments and government agencies in countries with good human rights records. Its spyware, company officials have said, helps crack down on criminals and terrorists. Over the weekend, unidentified people claimed to hack Hacking Group computers and social media accounts and to make off with documents contradicting that narrative. As proof, the hacktivists posted invoices purporting to show malware sales to groups in Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

"Since we have nothing to hide, we're publishing all our e-mails, files, and source code," the hackers wrote in a tweet that included a BitTorrent link to the alleged trove of documents. The statement was posted to the official Hacking Team Twitter account, which the hackers said had also been compromised (the account handle was changed to "Hacked Team").

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