Boeing and disgraced malware firm Hacking Team planned flying spyware-delivery drones

An engineer at Boeing's Insitu subsidiary proposed that the disgraced malware company Hacking Team should add spyware-delivery tools to Insitu's drone platform.

The Insitu plan is elaborated upon in a roadmap of Hacking Team projects, which notes that an engineer had been assigned the project of building a lightweight mini-computer loaded with weaponized code that would ride on a Boeing drone. It's a real-world, military-industrial version of the Virus-Copter.

Separately: Italian prosecutors have opened investigations into six ex-Hacking Team employees.

Presumably, attaching a small network injector to a drone would give the ability to attack Wi-Fi networks from above, or at a greater distance. The system operator wouldn't have to get physically near the target. Insitu did not respond to The Intercept's requests for comment.

Hacking Team gained notoriety in recent years as human rights and digital security advocates found traces of its spyware on the computers of journalists and political activists from Ethiopia, Morocco and elsewhere. As The Intercept reported last week, the leaked files confirm that Hacking Team sold to many countries with dubious human rights records, and also to agencies in the U.S., where the use of such spyware is still the subject of legal controversy.

Hacking Team and Boeing Subsidiary Envisioned Drones Deploying Spyware