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#32 The Evilest Technology On Earth :-)


On July 5th, a hacker leaked hundreds of gigabytes of information stolen from a company that sells surveillance software to some of the most oppressive regimes in the world. We look into what journalists have found so far.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by better for him a new podcast from eighty people. In each episode Francesca Ramsay talks to visionaries in business leaders about mistakes. They ve made how they work their way through them and came out better for it, listen on Spotify wherever you get. Your pot casts. From gimlet. This reply, all I'm out it's for you, dictator of a small country, and you decided that you want a spy on the computers and cell phones of summer. Your citizens, maybe one up, stopped some pro democracy, protests or maybe you're trying to stop a would be terrorist until recently, the tools you'd need do any say: quality surveillance were too expensive, but these as you can just go out and buy it cheap, me that sells it
they even advertise online. You need more. You want to look through your targets eyes you have to have your target. This is an ad for an italian company called the hacking team way listening to us. Imagine the accompanying image, a hooded figure slowly and ominously lifting his head to reveal a spooky go teed hacker within it? rely on us, I never heard about the hacking team into last week when, on Sunday, joy, fifth, someone released for hundred gigabytes of information. They stole from hacking team servers. You have seen the headlines, but you probably and do what I've been doing. The past week pouring all these crazy details, the inner workings of a private spying company On Sunday I called a brain gallagher. Rapporteur for the intercept and
Is that reporting on the hacking team has always been slow and frustrating work, at least up until this hack said scheme out last Sunday night on Monday morning, us are going through, and I didn't stop until about thirsty of failure, hardly even any food. I was asleep totalling most of these emails, and I just can't believe my jaw was just like a jawdropping can scenario. Just to actually see it there in black and white, and it's just like somebody suddenly turning the lay on I haven't offers their clients a bunch of different services, their most pipe. Off the shelf software is called remote control systems or Arcy ass. It can installed on computers are smartphones through an innocuous. Looking email attachment or by usb key in writing is that once it's on there, it gives the government complete control they allow is whoever's done. The invite a government agency to steal, say you ve got
to grasp on their documents and also to record audio if you're doing a Skype conversation like you and I are no or if you're, making a phone call for them to record the audio of the phone call at to make copies of your text messages. Your whatsapp chat they can top their location function on your phone to see exactly where we are at any given moment and with crazy considering the company's just forty employees is that their reach massive. To say nothing of their work with the United States. Can team is made clients of countries all over the world, the top one or make single actually in Morocco there in terms of the revenue, but have also done deals with Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore Kazakhstan, since It goes on for a long time. I can t says that they work with these countries to help them get their bad guys, but the problem,
Is that a lot of these places? The hacking team works with have pretty terrible human rights records They are not very, shall we say, conservative about who they sell to. They were trying to sell to a Bangladeshi so called death squad called the Rapid Action battalion, which is known for systematically, torturing and executed people. You know if they don't really get much worse to be on some of the fanciful. The company uses the stay out of trouble, is pretty stunning in twenty twelve, blogger in the United Arab Emirates named Ahmed months or was beaten by authorities after they tracked him Seeing the teams flagship software are CS in that were released this week you can see their Pierre. Eric Raby, trying to come up with a plausible, defend
when our CS was found on ombudsman source computer. That one is a great one, because he's called Red handed there try. That's him trying to kick up a denial, and he suggesting, like he's, got some proposing to his colleagues internally and he's asking them. Can we think of any other software? The has our cs in it, and we can say that, while I know it is commonly, you know our cs as common acronym that she is like Easterner, find something else that they can and it's just hurry No. This is just the level of deception I mean I just find it so disturbing and hacking teams internal emails. They sometimes worry that one day all this might happen Journalists might be able to read through their private emails, for example the ceo of Hacking team David mentions Eddie joked at one point. Imagine this a leak on Wikipedia showing you explaining the EVIL s technology on earth. He punctuated with a smiley face
back in team also loves to insult primacy advocates and human rights activists who want more insight into the company's operations there. Casually for two as idiots and imbeciles. One hacking teams, ever even off handedly joked about wanting to have ACL you, privacy activists, Christa Goin, killed. Writing quote if I could gather up enough coin, I would use a service from the dark net and eliminate him and asked All of this calibre doesn't deserve to continue to consume oxygen, Oliver I've been picturing the hacking team as a bunch, a programmer sitting in front computers trying to fight weaknesses and software that they wanted to break into. But then I talked to she told me reporter, and she told me that the hacking team actually buys the work of other hackers they ve been back piling what are called zero day vulnerabilities, a flaw in phone or computer software the company spend zero days trying to fix. They don't know about this flaw, but the hacking team does and they use them as a back door.
Into their targets computers. We see an email exchange with a company security company called net regard where they were talking about selling zero to exploit them, and they batting back a figure of about a hundred five thousand dollars for that particular exploit so much work, while back How much money back and beyond the low answer zero days can go for anywheres from five thousand dollars to half a million dollars, or even a million dollars or more whoever's behind. His hack could have made a lot of money selling the zero day exploits rather than publishing them for public consumption, but they didn't The motivation here appears to be Ito serve as a social justice hack, a hacker whom- the to benefit from this economic, would not dump these documents We have used a zero days for themselves or sold the zero days, so it clear that this was for exposing hacking teams events. Business and its arm. You know it's like over the years:
No one knows who this hacker is All we have is the name they ve, given themself Phineas Fisher. Whoever here she is they available for an interview, of course wanted to talk to someone at the hacking team, but privates by companies. Don't just get on the phone, with reporters alone His Eric cancer is, which is why I was so surprised when Eric rape pick up the phone Eric Rabies. I can t spokesman everyone else he's dying. To know who hacked the hacking team. Do you know who perpetrate This happened, what their motivations work loved? No God termination of the treasure alone. They Betsy very probable, real answer: Who is finished Fisher? I dont know
you know this is some guy would obviously go the signs of all our doors tat night told me he wanted to set the record straight. He says that this company despite what reporters and human rights activists think is actually work for the greater good, even if from the outside, there lists suggest otherwise its takes out Saudi Arabia. People would argue, is a repressive regime and their human rights. It is not good and bad press one and so on. Over so forth, to tell the fifteen fire gets to Saudi Arabia back one of its air force and generally considered to be an ally of the West and, furthermore, I think, in a country like that. You could argue that a good reason to have their capabilities it may provide, because you know those places have issues
those who are developing their networks in setting up shop there need to be dealt with, but here's the problem, the hacking team say that their good guys behind doors, but those doors have to stay closed because they promised their client secrecy. We, a key and our contracts it we will not disclose our clients are best. The client one way the great to what this means is. Do sever ties with a bad regime for beating up dissidents. They can't go on power I can tell everyone about it and that's frustrating. I think the difficulty is that it's impossible for me to verify that you operate ethically, because you can't give specific studio, confidentiality so it reads like a dodge. Even with former clients, you know me, I get it now I understand that you are willing to take, because without it we ve got a protective confidentiality legitimate users of the software drive you good job, protecting it. You know
I understand that it's not gonna be satisfactorily rights activist group for me to say that I am not Let them come in and you know I never did like. Maybe it'd liked it sitting our and sent for me every day or what, but that's not option, so why? If you, if you don't want you dont, want human rights activists sitting in your controller and watching how you guys work work when it went. What do you say to a bunch of journalists? Would you let us come come up even worse decisions, but I think you are operating a police department. Probably would want idiotic into your investigation to about thirty oversight of her human rights activists, journalists. You know you're Yorkshire walking a strange line in that the there are in that you're selling, this very powerful software and it seems like it would be very
difficult for you to police, how morally the people you're selling to our operating, That's right! I don't like we're in the business of policing and, to be perfectly honest, we do our best to make sure that without now just want laid give it the people behind a bad thing, but at the end of the day, you really counting on a police forces to do the right thing. Sound. I gotta figure Gander. Our question as well, what authority and serve any people who don't think again. But most people expect that you will be able to. In response to this leak. The hacking team is temporarily asked all of its customers to stop using it software patenting. Continues to sit out press releases that amount to it saying everything is fine, but the inner That's Ryan Gallagher does not buy it. Lets me frank of it
es there's no way that their own anything other than a complete crisis. Over this I mean their entire client, less all their con contracts. Years of peace event highly revealing candid poetically, explosive emails have been dumped online em so has especially desolate. Has shut down your whole operation, at least temporarily Chrissy Goin The ACL, you activist, who the hacking team said quote, doesn't deserve to continue to consume oxygen. He says that the hacking team does go under. Be more shadowy companies to replace them. I suspect there be, Their companies will be quite eager to take their place because, ultimately, there lot of governments around the world now that want to escape the softer and- and there is money to be made from ethically flexible executives who don't mind providing this technology to the governments that want it.
If you want to search the leak yourself. Wikileaks has posted it and its searchable by key word: cigarette after the break. We have a history making. Yes, yes now, this episode is brought to you by better for it a new podcast from HTTP hosted by Francesca Ramsay. We all make mistakes better, for it looks how mistakes have shaped the lives and careers of visionaries and business leaders and helps them think differently about what their working forty you'll hear from an entrepreneur who ventured out on his and so I went out. I took seven hundred dollars. I had in the bank, but my own pickup truck, took some flyers business cards and later I had a business and in each hour, rule breaker, whose learn While we all care about work in the first place you proud of the work.
Do you want to be able to tell your friends about it? You want to be able to feel like you're, making a different you'll hear how they work their way through their mistakes and came out better for him. Listen on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts Stop and again for yes, yes, no, they say and on this show, where P Jane, I pretend to have any real expertise in anything. In this case, its most, arcane internet culture stuff. But this week even PJ's doesn't quaint. Have the expertise required, and so he turned to me and Alex Bloomberg just a word there's quite a bit of profanity in this segment. So I've been seeing something popping up on my internet that I don't understand that I actually think that the two of you between you have a better chance of undersigned. I do Yes, yes, no with kids, as the no the
Twilight Zone version, this is the version where suddenly like being a dad of Islam child gives you access to a world of important information. Ah, yes, Ok, So do you guys know what minions are yes I'll great? Okay, so I got sick for a week. I wasn't really on the internet and when I came back all anybody Talk about was minions. Carry some of these minion tweets share. These are mostly from weird twitter. From a woman. Named tough ghost I want a million to beat me to death. This is from Canada. As the world's greatest internet trolls reporter my quest to fuck the dominion has had some road bomber. If you believe I will fuck dominions, please send me, get vibes five million quest
And and there's still, a million, which is like a yellow banana with one eye, looks like Pixar. The meaning is between two are yellow fire hydrants and look unlike soil, is obviously an intimate Are you sure you came in the many wants to fuck the fire hydrants at minions? So what you question- I just don't know I don't what they are. I don't away suddenly inescapable, and I dont know what pupils primary feeling is about them: I think together we can take that. I want to hear I want to hear you do this. All right, so there was a movie got despicable me do you remember, there's snow evidence, and said the voice of stiff corral, as of as a supervillain named, grew, and he ended up care for three children and found love inside his frozen heart, and he had a secret
laboratory in his house and the assistance that worked in his laboratory where these little yellow fire hydrants with one. I called minions and they speak in the sort of like adorable sort of lake. I learned to answer but above all of them up, but Because of the age we live in the side, characters one or two sequels later get their, maybe I'll. The penguins of Madagascar. Our man, this is knocking. Reference did not help here. Is this what I feel like for you all the time Look my world that actually, with a matter that we over my oh, my god so There are, though, there are moving at a much there. Penguins of Madagascar became like this sort of, like the other arm of eventually. Anyway, I saw the region, stick with me. I did not see the stick with me, too:
and I have not seen the most recent movie, but I know that it is Nan as popular, because you got that information from Twitter. I got there from my four year old son. He doesn't watch tv really he's scared of. Everything like he's very terrified of cartoons and if we had to have her one, does the evolving feature of anything Stir Diarrhoea Allumette millions, and what did he say he was like daddy that looks like, in her like that man was wearing glasses, like a million whereas or something like that like he was just like they're. Just like a thing, that's in his world now sort of the very same that their things in your world. I dont know what his channels are, I'm pretty sure that social media, but somehow that's how power this movie as it isn't like Europe, its crept into everybody, so millions have become so popular people,
started making like these sort of nonsensical means like totally straight face, not like them. Once that you saw. Ok, these sort of ST faced means that they post on Facebook, which is like a picture of two million, smiling- and it's like that feeling when you get a three day weekend, but like it look at this one. It's a sad looking minion in its is keep common pretended not Monday. Okay, and it's like, their faces have become this sort of stand in for all kinds of emotions. So this become a thing that I think that you know answer. Goals of the people who live in it Twitter are doing so Twitter. I just taking this that the like cultures love of the million to this really sort of dad. I asked absurd place. I think I have this. Can I try to us Anti. You guys are my God. This is such a resolution. This deadly verse
it's weird. Vienna is thy requires like a lot more concentration as they alot morally doing math and a lot less like telling someone historic, okay, so. There was a series of children's movies. Sorry, a villain and his henchmen called minions, which are one eyed banana creatures. Eventually, they were spun off into their own movie, which has begun. Such a massive cultural phenomenon that, minions right now are like the smiley face, their inescapable and- boy, imprint. Whatever Fiona have onto them,. The people in my corner of the internet are making a joke about how everyone loves, minions and sexual icing it to be an appropriate think. You got it where it. Yes, yes dear, you shot like. Oh you don't know about that. You are shocked the universe we warmly. I feel sure that you all know about these things because they feel egg everybody's talk
About re read but, like I Evan cultural world shrill, not include the minions, that's amazing you like I had the same feeling about the vastness of the world and the irresponsibility of like me losing touch with pop culture. When I realising that they were incredibly popular young. Positions whose music I could not pick out. I could not tell what Song Ariane aggrandize place. She has Bang Bang an Rebecca yes, yes, Rebecca? Yes, yes, requires hosted by PDA vote and me Alex will then we are produced. This by TIM, Howard, in any event in protection assistance by Sylvie Douglas Matt Labour new haircut? That's not all messed up and weird or show it makes. I require special thanks we too Emily Kennedy themes
is by the mysterious break, master cylinder and our add music is by build buildings. You can find more episode to Itunes that conflict reply on our website This reply, all that limo thanks for listening, was the next week and also our just get the type resign Walmart Requires us to buy Pga vote and me Alex Goldman. I love to sniff up diapers Can you do? I don't want to die and endorsement Romania's unenthusiastic replies good, bye, Pga vote and me Alex Goldman. I love to sniff type not sleazy easy to almost lake. Almost like our good diverse. Now I read her piles hosted by p. Vote and me Alex Goldman loved. Never diapers, I've got a job. Resold. It are you I just wanna. Do onwards like in the moment it's a cuban sniffing upped, Abraham timing, I your realising that is what I ok. I gotta her piles hosted by Peter
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-13.