In August, we wrote about the FBI’s hacking tool that hacked computers in Austria. Throughout 2016, judges made decisions on the validity of the data obtained via the hack. A judge, without jurisdiction, allowed the FBI to hack 1000 computers. Now, court documents from a recent trial revealed that 8,000 computers got hacked.
According to the recent transcript, the FBI hacked at least 8,000 computers. They hacked computers in 120 different countries too. We knew the FBI hacked far beyond the scope outlined in the warrant. But illegal hacking of this scale was hardly considered a possibility.
Federal public defender Colin Fieman said, following the October hearing: “We have never, in our nation’s history as far as I can tell, seen a warrant so utterly sweeping.”
The warrant and following hack was part of the FBI’s PlayPen take-down. FBI agents took control of the child pornography website in late 2015. Despite having control of the site, the FBI was still unable to identify users. They deployed a network investigative technique (NIT) to expose users.
Legal issues spouted from the way the FBI handled the case. The judge who signed the NIT warrant had jurisdiction Eastern District