Hacking Team is pitching its encryption cracking tools to US law enforcement agencies
Hacking Team, a Milan-based information technology company that sells offensive intrusion and surveillance capabilities to governments, law enforcement agencies and corporations has announced its official comeback after being attacked earlier this year. The announcement was made to its customers by the company’s CEO, David Vincenzetti in the form of an email that was sent via its internal mailing list.
The email sent out on October 19 says: “Most [law enforcement agencies] in the US and abroad will become ‘blind,’ they will ‘go dark:’ they will be simply be [sic] unable to fight vicious phenomena such as terrorism. Only the private companies can help here, we are one of them.”
The email then continues: “It is crystal clear that the present American administration does not have the stomach to oppose the American IT conglomerates and to approve unpopular, yet totally necessary regulations.”
The attack on the Hacking Team carried out almost four months ago by a hacker only known as PhineasFisher had resulted them in the loss of some 400 GB of confidential data. The 400 GB of files contained a slew of zero-day exploits in various applications, internal company emails, a list of customers and their purchases, hacking (intrusion) tools, complex spyware and surveillance tools, and the source code of the company’s main product: Remote Control System (RCS), version 9.
The company’s CEO who had made appearances at various conferences over the summer had promised to make a comeback. The company now is marking its return by offering a brand new suite of hacking tools to American law enforcement agencies, which will supposedly help them get around various encryption technologies. Heralded as “brand new and totally unprecedented cyber investigation solutions,” the company’s CEO also said that his team has already started work on RCS 10.
Though the Hacking Team in the past had an impressive list of clients and customers, which included the Drug Enforcement Agency and FBI, are no longer in the list anymore. As Motherboard notes, “The DEA cancelled its contract after using it only 17 times in three years, while the FBI let its license expire because it didn’t see RCS as a “must have,” as Hacking Team spokesperson Eric Rabe put it in an internal email.”
While it is unclear from the latest Hacking Team release if the company is referring to RCS 10 or something new altogether, there’s no word yet on when we can actually expect a release. However, one thing is clear that the new tools will provide the ability for companies and governments to crack encrypted files and Web traffic.