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Mashable.com: Azerbaijani special services use spyware to monitor computers

Four cyber sleuths claim to have found evidence of "untraceable," government-grade surveillance software in use in 21 countries, including Azerbaijan, with dubious practices in human rights and Internet freedom.

It is noted that this is the first time that the researchers could develop a map showing where the spyware is spread. The latter is sold by the Italian company “Hacking Team” to governments and law enforcement agencies.

The company claims it doesn't sell its products to "repressive regimes," however the researchers found out that the software was used by the authorities of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, where there is low level of human rights.

“It also claims its Remote Control System (RCS) spyware, which allows law enforcement to record and monitor just about everything that happens on a target's computer, is untraceable,” the article reads.

Cyber sleuths, Bill Marczak, Claudio Guarnieri, Morgan Marquis-Boire, and John Scott-Railton, have been investigating surveillance technology for years, exposing Western companies that sell spyware to governments around the world.

They believe that it is possible, that some countries use the RCS for investigation of criminal cases, however in certain cases the program has been used for political purposes. For example, last year, they found out that the program was used against the Moroccan journalists and one human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates.

In their investigation, the researchers found that the RCS surveillance infrastructure uses a network of multiple servers to siphon data from a target's computer to the alleged law enforcement server. The data travels through multiple hops, a technique presumably used to make it harder to identify who's receiving the data.

“Mashable” notes that they failed to get a comment of the Hacking Team. Earlier the company refused to provide information about their clients, referring to the confidentiality agreements.

Source: Panorama.am
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