Privacy and human rights advocates are having a field day picking through a massive leak purporting to show spyware developer Hacking Team's most candid moments, including documents that appear to contradict the company's carefully scripted PR campaign.
"Imagine this: a leak on WikiLeaks showing YOU explaining the evilest technology on earth! :-)," Hacking Team CEO David Vincenzetti wrote in a June 8 e-mail to company employees including Walter Furlan, whose LinkedIn profile lists him as the international sales engineer of the spyware developer. "You would be demonized by our dearest friends the activists, and normal people would point their fingers at you."
Other documents suggested the US FBI was among the customers paying for software that allowed targets to be surreptitiously surveilled as they used computers or smartphones. According to one spreadsheet first reported by Wired, the FBI paid Hacking Team more than $773,226.64 since 2011 for services related to the Hacking Team product known as "Remote Control Service," which is also marketed under the name "Galileo." One spreadsheet column listed simply as "Exploit" is marked "yes" for a sale in 2012, an indication Hacking Group may have bundled some sort of attack code that remotely hijacked targets' computers or phones. Previously, the FBI has been known to have wielded a Firefox exploit to decloak child pornography suspects using Tor.