Back in July, a hacker dumped the emails and other files from Hacking Team, Italy's notorious cyber-arms dealer. Coincidentally, Vice had recently filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI, asking if they were buying cyberweapons from Hacking Team.
The dump confirmed that the FBI had spent nearly a million dollars on Hacking Team's "products." The FBI, meanwhile, has finally responded to the FOIA request, stating that they can neither confirm nor deny what everyone now knows: that they bought cyberweapons from sleazy arms-dealers, and used them to attack people in America.
The leak contains the receipts issued by Hacking Team, through its US-based reseller Cicom USA, to the FBI for the sale of the spyware suite RCS. Files titled “Receipt Cicom USA x FBI” detail exactly how much the FBI spent on the company’s spyware since 2011 (more than $775,000). And despite the fact that Hacking Team’s CEO David Vincenzetti insisted that employees used the codename “PHOEBE” to refer to the FBI, many weren’t too careful.
“It’s hard to answer your question if I don’t know who Phoebe is,” wrote an Hacking Team executive to an account manager in 2012.
The manager responded: “FBI.”
And documents are littered with explicit references to the FBI, and a client list reveals who the code actually belongs to.
The FBI Won’t Confirm or Deny Buying Hacking Team Spyware, Even Though It Did
In Canada’s hyper-concentrated and vertically integrated telcoms sector, data caps are a normal part of life; and where there are data-caps, there is cable company fuckery in the form of “”zero rating” — when your telcom sells you to online service providers, taking bribes not to count their service against your cap.
A Freedom of Information Act request reveals that the DEA spent $575,000 buying access to weaponized zero-day exploits sold by Hacking Team, the hacked and disgraced Italian cyber-arms dealer who outfitted despots, dictators, the FBI, and America’s local police departments.
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