Israeli Security Agency (Shabak) representatives visited Hacking Team offices and showed interest in buying the company’s spying program| They made sure they could protect their identity as users and asked to conduct changes to the program
Leaked documents and emails reveals that representative from Israel Security Agency visited Milan this March to discuss purchasing Hacking Team’s powerful surveillance technology. The program, Remote Control System (RCS), can infect a target’s computer or phone from afar and steal files, read emails, take photos and record conversations. This program has been sold to government agencies in Ethiopia, Bahrain, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Azerbaijan and Turkey. As published here yesterday, the hacked data also expose Israeli police interest in the program.
Hacking Team’s meeting with Israel Secret Agency employees, according to a document summarizing it, held together with Nice Systems, an Israeli based company which is also a costumer of Hacking Team. According to the document, the Israelis explained that as long as they could change RCS according to their needs and manage to keep their identity confidential, they would like to buy the product and there is no question of cost. “Prospect really well skilled with IT Security notions, not interested to see the demo (we drive them into the demo flow again and again)”, the document reads. “They already seen several demos during the years and they are convinced they well know the product (they also proofed they miss lot of details) and they want to buy it.”
The potential clients had some requests: “Their first interest was related to understand the security features designed to protect their identity and all the possible ways to use the solution without be affected by potential mistakes performed by other customers. They pushed a lot to get “yes” answers to questions related few changes in the RCS architecture and in the way we provide/deliver exploits,” the document reveals. “They explicitly said their main next task will be to internally validate the way we designed the architecture without taking care of the price it could have an infrastructure meeting their needs.”
Following the meeting, Hacking Team employee Walter Furlan wrote in internal email: “Hi all, here in the report of a pre-sales meeting lasted 1 day and half with Israeli Internal Secret Services. wish you’ll appreciate and contemplate the improbability.”
When asked by CEO David Vincenzetti what does he mean, he replied: “I’m referring to a prospect coming at our premises so many times to discuss again and again about something they well know its different from what we provide, pushing so much to get what they want with poor rhetorical arguments like “we’re here to check if you could fit our desired requirements” or ”we don’t care of the price the changes could have”.”
Leaked communications of Hacking Team also expose that in March 2012 a person named “Jacob” from the Israeli PM office showed interest in the company products, writing: ״To whom it may concern I’m interested in learning more about your products. I’d like to get more information and a POC whom I can contact. with regards Jakob N ,Israel PMO”.
The company internal communication regarding this email described it as mysterious, but stated it deserve their standard answer.
Request for comment sent to Israeli Security Agency on Thursday evening. I will update as soon as agency will reply.
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