Hacking Team Rebranded?

May 14, 2018

In the slippery, mysterious world of data breaches and dark web hacking, it’s always comforting when we see bad actors get punished. However, a recent report suggests that the punished simply rebrand themselves and keep invading our privacy. This chilling story first popped up on Vice’s Motherboard page, in a story called “New Spyware Team ‘Grey Heron’ Linked to Hacking Team.”

According to the story, a company called The Hacking Team, which sold spyware to authoritarian governments in Ethiopia, Sudan, and beyond went out of business when it was hacked itself and lost sensitive data for its high-profile clientele. However, Vice suggests that the company simply changed its name and has again begun selling its malware and spyware to suspicious customers. Also, it is trying to pedal goods in Europe under the name Grey Heron.

“The idea that those linked to Hacking Team can rebrand themselves under a new company may irk those pushing for accountability in the surveillance industry.”

According to one insider: “It is vital that export licensing regimes across Europe apply these laws and crucially talk to one another to ensure human rights are not trampled over.”

Smaller outlets have begun reporting that the NSA had a cache of online spying tools leaked. It certainly sounds like things will get harder before they get easier. Will a rebranding effort take flight.

The Beyond Search Goose will ask the next gray heron it encounters.

For more information, learn more about CyberOSINT (the Dark Web) here.

Patrick Roland, May 14, 2018

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