Hacking Team Getting Hacked - In Whom We “Trust”?
The hack on the Italian-based firm Hacking Team revealed that exploiting is not just done by black hats and hackers, but this immoral act can be committed by a legitimate company.
After the revelation of the information, via a dump of 400 gigabits email, revealed that the company was involved in zero-day exploits. The company bought zero-days exploits to install its spyware in different systems.
Zero-day is a hole in the software that is exploited by the hackers before the vendor knows about it. The hacking team sold such exploits to many companies and through these vulnerable holes in the system installed their spy software RCS into targeted systems. These exploits provide information to many intelligence and law firms around the world.
Not only did they sell it to government agencies but they also sold these exploits to exploitive organizations from Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Ethiopia to name a few and potentially linked to an organization known as the Death Squad. This organization acquired these tools over a period from many companies and individuals, which were prized by criminals and government officials equally.
This company has acquired exploits that could break out of sandboxes shows the type and strength of the exploits they had. Sandbox is a security feature that keeps the malware, keep it from breaking into your computer and affecting the computer system. These vulnerabilities are highly prized because finding them is hard and if found the attacker can control the system. The company holds assets that breach privacy and has sold them to government and criminal hackers.
Hacking Team’s commercial video can give you a highlight of their business.
This news makes one question whether there is any organization that you can trust? Nowadays, intelligence and government agencies are breaching our privacy with software provided by legitimate companies like Hacking Team. The government and intelligence agencies may have a reason (which is debatable) to do this but the same company is also selling the same software to criminal hackers and organizations that mean no good. The companies and organization listed in their client list are criminal organizations. The company is responsible for assisting criminal organizations and intelligence organizations in breaching privacy of many computers and organizations. This is an unsettling to realize that legitimate business that is supposed to keep us safe from hackers and criminals is responsible for empowering them in doing so.
Taken from the video are some of the targeted medium.
Hacking Team since then responded to the hack and the media coverage surrounding the event.
This begs the question that is the cyber world really safe? What is this illusion of privacy that we are living in? And if companies and government are doing the same things as criminal hackers then whom do we trust?
It is high time that these questions are taken seriously. Debates must be held on such issues. These companies either have to come clean and remove the illusion of privacy from the minds of the public or have to define the rules and regulations of their operations. Under any circumstances, this implies that as of now we indeed are living in an era that mocks in the face of privacy.
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