In an ongoing series of revelations regarding Hacking Team’s recent security breach, Motherboard has pieced together that the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) likely used Hacking Team software to de-anonymize a user of the anonymizing Tor software. It doesn’t seem, however, that Tor itself has been cracked by Hacking Team or the FBI.
Hackers breached the computer systems of notorious Italian spyware firm Hacking Team last week. Some 400 GB of internal documents were taken from Hacking Team’s servers and dumped on BitTorrent to later be published by WikiLeaks. According to these documents, the FBI spent as much as US$775K on spy tools made by Hacking Team.
It has now come to light that an FBI agent who is part of an “elite” cybercrime unit emailed Hacking Team in September 2014 for advice. The agent wanted to know if the company’s main product, Remote Control System (RCS), would be able to reveal the IP address of a target using Tor. Rather than breaching TOR, however, the agent suggested planting malicious software – a “scout” – on the target’s computer.
In his first email, the FBI agent asked:
“In version 8, one of your engineers