WikiLeaks releases weaponised malware as government test

Whistleblowing organisation hits out at German government for not blocking developers from downloading the software

WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks has revealed it used weaponised malware FinFisher to reveal which governments were snooping on their residents and to improve detection systems to protect people's PCs and mobiles.

The whistleblowing organisation said releasing the files would also allow researchers to discover abuses of human rights in countries using the FinFisher software.

WikiLeaks also revealed information about FinFisher's customers that include law enforcement and government agencies in nations around the world.

The site said the company has clients in Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa and Vietnam.

WikiLeaks believes the use of the software allows many of these countries to abuse human rights by snooping on residents.

The organisation particularly targeted the German government, who WikiLeaks said should stop FinFisher from selling the software to countries with bad human rights records.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks' editor in chief, said: "FinFisher continues to operate brazenly from Germany selling weaponised surveillance malware to some of the most abusive regimes in the world. The Merkel government pretends to be concerned about privacy, but its actions speak otherwise."

The malware, which can target Apple OS X, Windows and Linux computers as well as Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Phone devices, was made available to download from the WikiLeaks website.

The files were obtained by a hacker going by the name Phineas Fisher in August and can be used to take data from PCs and spy on emails, phone calls and other data going to and from infected devices.

Featured Resources

How virtual desktop infrastructure enables digital transformation

Challenges and benefits of VDI

Free download

The Okta digital trust index

Exploring the human edge of trust

Free download

Optimising workload placement in your hybrid cloud

Deliver increased IT agility with the cloud

Free Download

Modernise endpoint protection and leave your legacy challenges behind

The risk of keeping your legacy endpoint security tools

Download now

Recommended

Hackers could use new Wslink malware in highly targeted cyber attacks
malware

Hackers could use new Wslink malware in highly targeted cyber attacks

1 Nov 2021
FBI raids Chinese POS business following cyber attack claims
malware

FBI raids Chinese POS business following cyber attack claims

27 Oct 2021
Malware developers create malformed code signatures to avoid detection
malware

Malware developers create malformed code signatures to avoid detection

24 Sep 2021
New malware uses search engine ads to target pirate gamers
malware

New malware uses search engine ads to target pirate gamers

21 Jul 2021

Most Popular

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD
Microsoft Windows

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD

4 Jan 2022
Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug
email delivery

Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug

4 Jan 2022
Solving cyber security's diversity problem
Careers & training

Solving cyber security's diversity problem

5 Jan 2022