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Hackers crack German government spy software

The Local · 9 Oct 2011, 14:11

Published: 09 Oct 2011 14:11 GMT+02:00

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IT experts from the CCC hacked the so-called Trojan spying programme during the weekend after obtaining a copy from unnamed sources. The Berlin-based group said the spyware appeared to be of shoddy quality and dubious application.

“We are extremely pleased that a competent programming expert couldn’t be found for this computer bug of morally questionable use,” the CCC said in statement.

The hackers, who focus on IT security issues, lamented that the spy programme did not provide elementary protection for the data it fished from people’s computers.

“The extracted screenshots and audio data are not completely encrypted, the commands from the trojan’s control software are entirely unprotected,” the group said.

The CCC explained that this could lead to easy manipulation by a third party to incriminate someone under surveillance by the German authorities.

The spyware also apparently allows the government to engage in unconstitutional activities such controlling the camera and microphone of someone’s computer.

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The hackers also expressed concern that the programme sent the data it culled back to the authorities via a server in the United States. This put potentially sensitive data of German citizens and companies at risk of exposure in a country that “actively engages in economic espionage in Germany.”

DPA/DAPD/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:46 October 9, 2011 by nolibs
Good for them. The police and government (pretty much becoming one and the same these days) want us to see hackers as the enemy, but I see them as friends to freedom. If it weren't for hackers, we would have never gotten the truth behind the global warming fraud.

On a related note, I highly doubt the data is not routed to via the USA by accident. Obviously the CIA/NSA is getting a crack at the data.
15:00 October 9, 2011 by georgekl
It is good to help improve or correct a situation.

Although this seems to be more like a demonstration than a honest effort to contribute for security and people 's rights.

There are a lot of different ways to communicate and suggest

for the best possible and what is right to be done.

Anyway, if it helped the outcome should be very helpful as well.

17:29 October 9, 2011 by bartschaff
@nolibs: believe me: a guy using the word "trick" in an email doesn't imply a global wide conspiracy by thousands of weather scientists. To the best of our knowledge, it's extremely likely that global warming is happening and that it's caused by human activities. Fraud and conspiracy is what oil companies do to convince you of the contrary.
22:20 October 9, 2011 by nolibs
@bartschaff: you are either being disingenuous or are simply ignorant of the facts. Sure, a "scientist" using the word trick in an email wouldn't in of itself prove that a fraud had taken place. Rather, it was the massive amount of other evidence that proved that there was a conspiracy to deceive the public.

A poster on HuffPost put it best: "Legitimate scientists do not doctor data, delete data they don¦#39;t like, hide data they don¦#39;t want seen, hijack the peer review process, personally attack other scientists whose views differ from theirs, send fraudulent data to the IPCC that is used to perpetuate the greatest hoax in the history science, provide false data to further legislatio­n on climate change that will result in huge profits for corrupt lobbyists and politician­s, and tell outright lies about scientific data."

The delete data should really raise your eyebrow, as all scientists know that you never delete the raw data. Science is testable, repeatable, observable, and falsifiable, otherwise it is not considered scientific. Consensus is not Science.
00:41 October 10, 2011 by internationalwatch
How embarrassing! German secret service is a joke, 1st their building plan was stolen and now this. They can just try to show how sophisticated they are by their behavior but in fact they're like a hallow pot that make a lot of noise.

Good to know what kinda s**t they are cooking up behind citizens back!
10:09 October 10, 2011 by benk
This is really a bad news and should not be happen again! This article is also great help for my Essay assignment.
11:09 October 10, 2011 by J-Dub
Have at it Government n00bs. My camera shows a light when it is on and does not work anyways. My mic is muted and disabled. And have fun breaking UNIX code since I am on a Linux Box. Hacking takes place primarily on Linux boxes since UNIX is hard to crack and Windows so easy to break in to. Ask any true hacker and they will, for the most part, tell you that hacking a Windows computer from Linux is one of the easiest tasks and the hardest to trace. Maybe this should wake up the people in the government that still use NT built or based Windows to the fact that they are not unbreakable by ANY means, especially with a Linux using Hacker.
09:44 October 11, 2011 by shahislam
For a better peaceful world, a fair and totally honest declaration of Amnesty will do the magic right now in regard to Assad, then only few dozens of thugs under veil: Emirs, Sheikhs and their Western business partners will take advantage of a new trend of 'non-violent changing process in 'Greed-money oriented global leader-ships', in a positive chain reaction.

Why not we unanimously elect one 'Not or less greedy' guy to accomplish the job of positive-global-change and encourage him to selflessly take the pain of selflessly leading the world for a noble cause and to show the World once again the unique humanitarian power of Great North-America. God created resources on Earth: e.g. Oil-Dollars, like billions of Gaddafi or Emirs or Kings of Middle East can be used for establishing one benevolent dictatorial type Authority (Doing its activities in a "No Secret" and transparently visible digital methods having random access to and from each member of the Global Public.) of impartial UN power to supervise on corporate capitalism in control of 'less tax-paying a small group of businessmen' and balance the world wide democracy. New UN (A few more Wise guys or at least "Some like me in the Think-tank") can only ensure 'Tax collection from each rich guy on Earth, regardless of the color of blood: Red or blue (?), including the so called spiritual leaders, hereditary owners of natural resources, kings' etc.
20:26 October 11, 2011 by sebastian2010
ALL goverments need to be overhauled. They only look after themselves.
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