Former Hacking Team staff investigated in cyber-attack inquiry
Six ex-employees treated as suspects in 400GB data-grab
Italian prosecutors are investigating six former employees of spyware-maker Hacking Team, in connection with a cyber-attack that exposed the company's source code and email communications, Reuters reported.
Hacking Team, named by Reporters Without Borders on its Enemies of the Internet list, last week suffered the theft of around 400GB of sensitive data. The case against the ex-employees began in May when Hacking Team CEO David Vincenzetti filed a complaint against them for having revealed the details of source code to a third party. That case has reportedly now been combined with the cyber-attack investigation.
The stolen data trove was dumped to whistleblower site WikiLeaks, which published details of the Italian company's clients, which include law enforcement agencies and governments from the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.
Hacking Team defends its business by arguing that its software is used for civil and national security purposes and that it does not count oppressive regimes among its customers. But the data dump reveals the company did business with a number of countries it had previously denied dealing with, including Sudan.
The company released a statement that condemned the actions of the hackers, pointing out that "terrorists, extortionists and others can deploy this technology at will if they have the technical ability to do so".