Hacking Team, maker of government spyware, gets hacked
2:58

Hacking Team, maker of government spyware, gets hacked

Culture
A company that makes hacking software has just been hacked. I'm Bridget Carey, this is your CNet update. [MUSIC] An Italian software company that helps governments hack into computers and spy on people has itself, been hacked. The company is called Hacking Team. And hackers took over the company's twitter account on Sunday and leaked out internal documents, emails, employee passwords, and source codes. What you're looking at now is a commercial for this Hacking Team company. It advertises its software as an untraceable way for governments to hack into any computer to spy on someone. 400 gigabytes of documents from this company were dumped online. But as of this report, the files cannot be independently verified as being real. Reporters with our sister site, ZDNet, have been combing through the files and that includes a list of customers. United States agencies are listed customers including the FBI, Department of Defense and the Drug Enforcement Administration. There's also a long list of other governments using the software including Egypt. Italy, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sudan, Thailand, and Turkey. In 2012, Reporters Without Borders labeled this company as an enemy of the Internet, for selling this encryption breaking software, with reports of it being used to repress journalists, and other activist groups. The Hacking Team Company has previously denied it does business with oppressive governments and those that may use the tools to abuse human rights. It's all called into question whether a company can sell this kind of software to any government. After all hacking software can be considered a weapon in cyber warfare. This hack is also a gift to anti-surveillance groups who want this company to be shut down because now it's going to be hard for any government to trust this software maker. And, speaking of gifts, let's transition to Amazon which is creating its own Christmas in July for Prime subscribers. Amazon is celebrating it's 20th birthday next week with what it calls Prime Day. On Wednesday July 15th, the site will offer more deals than it did on Black Friday. The catch is that only Prime subscribers can get the deals. For $100 a year, Prime brings several benefits, including two-day shipping, access to a library of streaming videos, music, and ebooks. But even if you don't pay for Prime, you could just sign up for the free month trial, go shopping on the 15th and then cancel the membership. Aside from celebratory birthday sales, Amazon has launched a cloud storage app for Android and iOS. The Amazon cloud drive app is the company's answer to services like Dropbox, where you pay a fee to store your files online. Amazon's unlimited photo and video storage plan costs $12 a year and unlimited storage for all sorts of documents will cost you $60 a year. But here's a tip, it's not that great compared to what other services offer. That's it for this tech news update, there's always more at cnet.com. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.

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