According to a news report from eWEEK, the recently hacked Hacking Team specifically targeted Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to allow government officials and law-enforcement agencies to follow the money trail.
Milan-based Hacking Team provides intrusion and surveillance software to governments and law enforcement agencies around the world. In early July, the group was publically dismantled as around 400GB of stolen internal company documents were distributed online.
According to an email message that was posted on Wikileaks, Daniele Milan, Operations Manager of the Hacking Team said,
“Cryptocurrencies are a way to make untraceable transactions, and we all know that criminals love to easily launder, move, and invest black money. LEAs, by using our Intelligence module combined with this new capability, can correlate the usage of cryptocurrencies, defeating the financial opacity they provide.”
The remote-access and surveillance platform particularly focused on tracking the use of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Feathercoin and Namecoin using its newly developed functionality called the Remote Control System Galileo. With this software, the company hacked the users’ wallets, waited for the passwords to be entered, and gained complete access to their details (transaction history and contact information), depriving them of the anonymity feature that the cryptocurrencies are known