Industry News

Hacker behind Hacking Team attack arrested?

The hacker suspected of attacking controversial company Hacking Team in 2015 was allegedly arrested by Spanish authorities on Tuesday and detained in Salamanca, announced The Hacker News.

Based in Italy, Hacking Team sells spyware and malware to governments and law enforcement. They have allegedly done business with Sudan, Bahrain, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia.

Three suspects, allegedly including the hacker in question, were arrested amid an investigation of the May attack against Sindicat De Mossos d’Esquadra (SME), Spain’s Catalan police union. The attack resulted in the leak of personal data of some 5,500 police officers. A couple was arrested in Barcelona and another suspect in Salamanca.

The hacker bragged about the hack and posted a detailed tutorial video on how it happened and how the data was stolen.

Going by the name Phineas Fisher, the hacker leaked 500 GB of confidential data stolen from the Hacking Team, including client files and contracts, emails and financial information. All was available for download on BitTorrent. The hacker is believed to have also been responsible for the hack of Gamma International, a company based in the UK with activity similar to the Hacking Team’s.

It hasn’t yet been confirmed that the person arrested in Salamanca is indeed behind the attacks against the Hacking Team and Gamma International, as an email was received from Phineas Fisher’s account denying the claims, reported Motherboard following contact with anonymous sources.

“I think the Mossos just arrested some people that retweeted the link to their personal info, or maybe just arrested some activisty/anarchisty people to pretend they are doing something,” the email read, according to an anonymous intermediary.

The hacker said the email was sent out “so there doesn’t start a bunch of theories around my disappearance.”

About the author

Luana PASCU

From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.