The Drug Enforcement Administration is in the hacking business. As a Motherboard ysis ahead found, the DEA purchased malware from Italian surveillance bell-ringer Hacking Team as aboriginal as 2012.
Newly appear abstracts appearance the DEA was invoiced for addition Hacking Team account too though: admission to a accumulation of zero-day exploits.
“Exploit Aperture Full Admission (Zero-Day level),” an account in an October 2012 balance from Cicom USA, Hacking Team’s US subsidiary, to the DEA, reads. Motherboard acquired the certificate via the Freedom of Information Act.
So-called zero-day exploits are attacks that await on vulnerabilities alien to the bell-ringer of the afflicted software; that is, the bell-ringer has had aught canicule to fix them. Hacking Team offered these sorts of exploits to be acclimated in affiliation with its Alien Control System (RCS) malware, apparently authoritative infection of a ambition that abundant easier.
Judging by the DEA invoice, these exploits included zero-days present in accepted book formats. A 2011 Hacking Team certificate anecdotic the company’s aperture credibility to formats such as Adobe PDFs, and Microsoft Powerpoint and Word documents. The aperture allegedly consistently contains at atomic three zero-day exploits, the certificate adds.
As Motherboard ahead reported, Hacking Team sourced its zero-day exploits from a array of companies and individuals.
The October 2012 invoice, which includes admission to the zero-day portal, was for a absolute of $575,000. Public annal appearance the DEA active a absolute arrangement with Cicom USA, Hacking Team’s US subsidiary, for $575,000 in August 2012.
But it’s not bright whether the DEA approved to booty advantage of any zero-day exploits, and the bureau adumbrated it was not decidedly acknowledged with Hacking Team’s solution.
Since 2012, the DEA deployed RCS on 17 targets, with alone “one acknowledged instance of alien deployment,” according to a 2015 letter from the DEA to US Senator Chuck Grassley.
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