Media Coverage: Threatpost

Hacking Team CEO David Vincenzetti has submitted a letter addressed to The Intercept’s editors, responding to a piece recently co-authored by Morgan Marquis-Boire.

Marquis-Boire’s article published  several manuals corresponding to Hacking Team’s surveillance software, and indicated that it had been sold to authorities in several countries worldwide.

Vincenzetti said that the article was based on the “conjecture” of the authors, and he felt that it was not balanced. He added that the reports obtained by The Intercept were stolen and out of date, and emphasized that Hacking Team’s software helps apprehend criminals who otherwise evade detection.

In response, Currier and Marquis-Boire explained that their claims were backed up with evidence from research conducted not only by Citizen Lab, but also by anti-virus and computer forensic companies such as Kaspersky Labs and Arsenal Consulting. Marquis-Boire cites Citizen Lab’s report “Mapping Hacking Team’s ‘Untraceable’ Spyware” as an example.

They also clarified that the manuals were dated September 2013 and obtained by an anonymous source via email, who supplied a link where the documents were hosted online. It has since been removed.

With regards to the need to combat criminals, Marquis-Boire acknowledged that these concerns are real, but that they are often overstated by governments. He noted that there is no indication that security agencies are responsibly using software like that of Hacking Team’s, especially given that evidence to the contrary has emerged.