Chalk it up to an unfortunate name. The Hacking Team was hacked by unidentified hackers, exposing a world of spyware being sold to various governments. It also makes you think twice about using supposedly anonymous browsers such as Tor.
Yes, the Italian tech firm, Hacking Team, is having one hell of a bad week. And, it just got worse. Why sit back and wade through press accounts of the hacked files? What if you could search 400 GB of emails and company records?
Enter Wikileaks. I guess its press quota hasn’t been met for the quarter, so they collected the files into one giant searchable database. Before you think you’re going James Bond meets Edward Snowden, most of the communications are boring.
If you know what search queries to use, things get a bit more interesting. Take searching for Uzbekistan. To call it human rights violator is like saying standing on the sun might be a little warm. Hacking Team members dealt with NICE, a business partner of Uzbekistan’s National Security Service.
The country’s record on human rights is horrible, and the macabre humor of its principal business firm is ridiculous.
What about other governments? Searching for .gov extensions brings up an interior minister of Saudi Arabia wanting to be sure the firm’s software could unravel the anonymity of Tor.
Either employees at the Hacking Team are a little too bold on software claims, or Internet users are going to need another browser to get their drugs off whatever Silk Road iteration people use.
It’s not just governments with terrible human rights records wanting in on the spyware software. The NSW Police expressed interest in the surveillance and penetration software back in 2013.
If you have the time and are curious if your country’s government is spying on you using Hacking Team software, the WikiLeaks database is a fascinating read.
They could have made it easier for us and just grabbed the most interesting communications. But no, they seem to love the headlines on just how much storage it is taking up on their servers. 400 GBs of information! Let the freedom rain from the sky…
While true, most is boring company emails. And if you have to ask yourself if the government is spying on you, you haven’t been paying attention. Of course, they are. You don’t think the massive budgets are just for kickbacks, do you? Ok, maybe some of it is…
Head over to WikiLeaks and search until you get bored.