Wikileaks on Monday released copies of “weaponised surveillance malware,” developed by a German company FinFisher, which it claims is used by governments and intelligence agencies around the world to snoop on “journalists, activists and political dissidents.”
The whistleblowing website said it has made the surveillance software available for download to allow security researchers and developers to come up with defences in order to protect people from FinFisher’s software.
Wikileaks said that in order to challenge the secrecy and the lack of accountability of the surveillance industry, analyzing the internals of this software could allow security and privacy researchers to develop new fingerprints and detection techniques, identify more countries currently using the Finfisher spyware and uncover human rights abuses.
Wikileaks revealed that FinFisher, which has made no less than €50 million (£40 million) from sales of its products, has clients in a number of countries including Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa and Vietnam.
The organization blasted on the German government saying that the government, who pretends to be a privacy supporter, should immediately cease FinFisher from selling the software to countries with bad human rights records.
WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange, who has currently taken shelter in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, said in a statement that the German company FinFisher continues to operate brazenly selling weaponised surveillance malware to some of the most abusive regimes in the world. Assange said that the Merkel government pretends to be concerned about privacy, but its actions speak otherwise.
The surveillance malware, which targets Apple OS X, Windows and Linux computers as well as Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Phone devices, is available for download from the WikiLeaks website.