Hacking Team boss: we sold to Ethiopia but ‘we’re the good guys’

Samuel Gibbs  - TheGuardian Attack that revealed data exposing deals with dictatorships was on a ‘governmental level’ and ‘planned for months’, says David Vincenzetti in first statement The founder of cybersecurity firm Hacking Team has finally spoken

  – TheGuardian

Attack that revealed data exposing deals with dictatorships was on a ‘governmental level’ and ‘planned for months’, says David Vincenzetti in first statement

The founder of cybersecurity firm Hacking Team has finally spoken out over the attack that saw 400GB of its data dumped on the internet, insisting: “We’re the good guys”.

David Vincenzetti, 47, founder of the Milan-based company, told Italian newspaper La Stampa that the cyber attack – which saw the code for companies hacking tools and its email archive published online – was not enabled by poor security or weak passwords and that it could have only been an organisation “at the governmental level”.

Vincenzetti said: “This is not an impromptu initiative: the attack was planned for months, with significant resources, the extraction of data took a long time.” But he did not explain how Hacking Team apparently failed to notice the attack while it was taking place.

Hacking Team hack casts spotlight on murky world of state surveillance

In response to concerns that Hacking Team supplied tools to repressive states which could be used to hack into and spy on almost anyone, Vincenzetti said: “We did [sell tools to Libya] when suddenly it seemed that the Libyans had become our best friends.” He also admitted providing tools to Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco and Sudan, as exposed by the company’s email archive, though denied dealing with Syria.

But Vincenzetti said: “The geopolitical changes rapidly, and sometimes situations evolve. But we do not trade in weapons, we do not sell guns that can be used for years.” He said that without regular updates its tools are rapidly blocked by cyber security countermeasures.

In the case of the Ethiopian government, which used Hacking Team tools to spy on journalists and activists, Vincenzetti said: “We’re the good guys … when we heard that Galileo had been used to spy on a journalist in opposition of the government, we asked about this, and finally decided to stop supplying them in 2014.”

Meanwhile, the impact of the Hacking Team data dump continues to affect wider cubersecurity. A further two vulnerabilities within Adobe’s Flash plugin have been exposed and are actively being exploited as a result of the attack, Adobe has confirmed.

Warning over Adobe Flash vulnerability revealed by Hacking Team leak

aseye.asena@gmail.com

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2 COMMENTS
  • nsmer July 14, 2015

    This is 2 side swards, the spy could also be spied at. Cyber war hmmm, scary we are far behind on the virtual world. Young Eritreans are dusting on bushed not polishing their brain in preparation to the new world challenges thanks to Isaias and his lieutenants.

  • Truly Truly i say to you July 15, 2015

    We are hearing news, Ethiopia as Paid US$ 1 Million to Hacking Team to Spy on Citizens. Sudan regime also the same as has did . Now my question as the Eritrean issue a lot has to do with Ethio- and Sudan National interest, how secure are the Eritreans media from being victim of such kind of cyberattack or any spy ? I asked this question not without reason, but in almost all oppositions media I follow because I observing citzens comments when deleted, surprisingly most on fever of the Eritrean national interest those written. I don´t mind about others media, about those because already hijaked they hosting a lot pro Ethiopia views, but I care only about my favourite Assenna not to be hijacked and not betray us like others do . Please Assenna many active commentators view do not seen in much like before including mines. What could be its reason? Please do not delete comments only because written long unless violets the Assenna´s law. And finally like the Amharic say goes, “ጎረቤት ሲታማ ለኔ ብለህ ስማ! ” (“ጎረቤትካ ክሕመይ ከሎ ነኣይ ኢልካ ስማእ!”) Esayas to destroy oppositions because everything similar action can do, we all have to watch out from his agents and others spy attack.

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