In yet another Hacking Team leaked email saga, the Italian spyware integrating software manufacturer has together with government officials hacked into crypto-currencies firms such as Bitcoin, LiteCoin, Feathercoin and Namecoin. In a way where Hacking Team encrypts into databases of the currency firm, poaches into the wallet files and lays in wait for its victims to enter their password in order to access the sites. Thus, it has done away with the anonymity previously enjoyed by crypto currency users.
Using cryptography, the crypto currency is a new (more of in a digital way) form of money dispensation in which encryption techniques are used to offload generation of currency thus providing independence from a central bank. In other definitions, crypto currencies such as Bitcoin provide an outlet for personal wealth that is beyond restrictions and confiscation. In short, it is a way, where criminal have an opportunity to laundering money.
"Crypto currencies are a way to make untraceable transactions, and we all know that criminals love to easily launder, move and invest black money," Daniele Milan, operations manager for Hacking Team, alluded to this in a forum at a whistle-blower website, WikiLeaks. "LEAs, by using our Intelligence module,” she went on to add,” combined with this new capability, can correlate the usage of crypto currencies, defeating the financial opacity they provide."
Earlier this month, hackers leaked email conversations and 450 GB worth of internal data from the Italic company. The company cried foul of the happenings stating that criminal activities were perpetrated against it in an act to tarnish and slander an already tainted image of Hacking Team.
Following a well-developed module, which the company had dubbed “Money”, Hacking Team could in the platform that could search for crypto currency data on a compromised system. This was per the leaked emails. It does not come as a surprise for a need in government agencies to want to come up with soft wares that have tracking functionality on crypto currencies. This comes in the background of law enforcers growing interest in Bitcoin, LiteCoin, Feathercoin and Namecoin. Also of note is the sudden springing of over 560 crypto currencies networks in just over 3 years.
"Drug purchases, illegal goods purchases, unlicensed gambling, and one we see all the time, ransomware, is facilitated by Bitcoin," Andrew Conway, a research analyst with messaging security firm Cloudmark has said. "Obviously, if you are in law enforcement, you are interested in these transactions because Bitcoin is an annoyance and will end up being more than an annoyance."
In a spate of this, a leading fallout from its lurid business relationship with Hacking Team is Netragard. This was after the leaks revealed breaches in software misuse especially to countries that were highly suspicious and disregarded human rights. This is, of course, a company that brokered the sale of some of Adobe Flash and Oracle’s Java vulnerability.
Hacking Team is ongoing with investigation gearing up with the Italian authority in identifying the “vicious perpetrators who orchestrated the vicious and heinous crimes on its site” according to its CEO David Vincenzetti