Leaked documents, published by WikiLeaks, have revealed that Italian spyware firm Hacking Team have the ability to track Bitcoin users, and have been selling the software with which to do it to third parties since January 2014. Hacking Team was recently subjected to a massive 400GB data theft, which included internal e-mails and private documents, which have now been made available, and searchable, in their entirety on the infamous whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
Internal e-mails show that Hacking Team’s premier spyware bundle, the Remote Control System, was updated in January 2014 to allow it to track “cryptocurrencies, such as BitCoin, and all the related information.”
“The module is able to collect various information: list of contacts and local accounts, wallet (i.e., the money) and the history of transactions,” an e-mail from 12th January, 2014, reads. It continues: “Currently it is intended only for Desktops (Windows, OS X, Linux), while introduction in Mobiles is still under evaluation.”
The Remote Control System, when installed on the target’s computer, uses its keylogger to gain access to their Bitcoin wallet, allowing the surveillant to view transaction histories and balances.
“Here is some relevant context to position them in your pitch: Cryptocurrencies are a way to make untraceable transactions, and we all know that criminals love to easily launder, move, and invest black money,” the Hacking Team e-mail reads. “[Law enforcement agencies,] by using our Intelligence module combined with this new capability, can correlate the usage of cryptocurrencies, defeating the financial opacity they provide.”
Bitcoin’s popularity stems from its anonymity, security, and lack of centralised control. Not any more, it seems.
Thank you Epoch Times for providing us with this information.