Researchers say some smaller, poorer nations are now using spy software, suggesting that recent data leaks and lawsuits have not deterred governments from investing in off-the-shelf cyberespionage products. Internet watchdog group Citizen Lab said in a report Thursday that it had found 33 “likely government users” of FinFisher, one of the world’s best-known purveyors of spyware. A report released separately by London-based Privacy International on Thursday said the same spyware had seen use in Uganda to hack, intimidate and blackmail members of the opposition. Business appears good for FinFisher, despite a damaging hack last year which exposed reams of client information and other confidential data. “They seem to have a healthy client base, despite the fact that they were hacked and customer data was exposed,” Citizen Lab’s Bill Marczak wrote in an email. “Far from observing a drop in FinFisher servers, we’re detecting more than ever before.” FinFisher did not return messages seeking comment on the findings. Like many malicious programs, FinFisher’s products work by infecting their targets’ computers and phones, copying messages, recording conversations and even activating webcams. On its website, the Munich-based company say the spyware helps law enforcement and intelligence agencies bring criminals to justice. Among the […]
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