An Italian company that sells sophisticated tools for spying on Internet users to the world’s most repressive governments appears to have just been the target of a massive hacker attack. The ironically named HackingTeam, which names three U.S. agencies as clients, was breached by unknown hackers, and 400 gigabytes of leaked data were made public via torrent.
The hackers used the company’s official Twitter account to disseminate screenshots of internal documents, source code, and email archives. According to the leaked information, Hacking Team’s clients include government entities in Azerbaijan, Colombia, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and many other countries–a number of whom have been accused of intrusively keeping tabs on their citizens. American customers of HackingTeam’s products, which are designed exclusively for spying on Internet users, include the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), FBI, and the Department of Defense.
Some of the passwords used by HackingTeam employees and clients were exposed as well, ranging from “HTPassw0rd” to “Passw0rd” and “Pas$w0rd”–not much better than some of the most popular (and most easily hacked) passwords chosen by us ordinary folks.
HackingTeam is only one of several companies offering surveillance technology to governments around the world.