Grey Heron is a new cyber-arms dealer offering to sell hacking tools to governments; it is fronted by Eric Rabe, who previously represented the disgraced, hacked Italian malware company Hacking Team, notorious for selling spy tools to governments that used them to target dissidents who were tortured and murdered after they were outed.
Grey Heron's marketing materials, distributed at the no-press-allowed UK Security & Policing event, promises the ability to hack into messages sent over Signal and Telegram, two widely used secure messaging platforms.
Stapled to the marketing materials was a card for Eric Rabe, who is identified as "marketing and communication" for the company.
In the brochure, Grey Heron promises to solve the same sort of problem that other malware vendors point to: the proliferation of easy-to-use encryption, especially in consumer devices and services. A common way to circumvent end-to-end encryption is to target the end-point itself—the phone, the computer—to siphon messages before they are sent securely.
“Designed in the name of privacy, today’s communications network also provides a near perfect hiding place for the lawless. Criminals and terrorists can do their work without fear. No one can know who or even where they are,” the brochure reads.
Grey Heron’s malware can be deployed in a number of different ways, according to the brochure, including remotely via exploits, or social engineering attacks, likely by tricking a target into downloading the malicious piece of software. The company provides capabilities for Android and iOS devices, as well as OS X and Windows computers.
Government Malware Company 'Grey Heron' Advertises Signal, Telegram Spyware [Joseph Cox/Motherboard]