Pwned Hacking Team tells cops, govts to shut down software

Probes whether leaks compromised cop shop ops

Flayed surveillance outfit Hacking Team is telling customers to suspend running instances of its software after 400GB of its source code and internal data was stolen and posted online.

The Milan company sells spy software to law enforcement agencies, and has been accused by activist groups of happily signing up oppressive governments as clients.

Documents revealed in the huge cache made public yesterday after the company was savagely hacked appear to confirm it had dealings with police and security agencies in countries with patchy human rights records including Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan.

Western government agencies including the Australian Federal Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration are also listed.

The company has now asked customers to temporarily suspend use of its software while it investigates if their spying operations have been exposed among the huge cache of released emails and source code.

Hacking Team spokesman Eric Rabe told Reuters that it is recommending clients suspend use of its programs until it can confirm whether law enforcement operations have been compromised.

"We would expect this to be a relatively short suspension of service," Rabe says.

It is the first official comment from the company after employees suggested on Twitter that the torrent file being shared contained "viruses", a statement that triggered ripples of mirth within the infosec community.

Much of the fallout of the hack has yet to arise as leaked emails and source code are studied.

The identity behind the hack of rival surveillance firm Gamma Group claimed responsibility on Twitter for the Hacking Team crack. ®

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