UPDATE 1-Surveillance software maker Hacking Team gets taste of its own medicine
(Adds that company is recommending that customers suspend use of spy gear)
By Eric Auchard and Joseph Menn
FRANKFURT/SAN FRANCISCO, July 6 (Reuters) - Italy's Hacking Team, which makes surveillance software used by governments to tap into phones and computers, found itself the victim of hacking on a grand scale on Monday.
The controversial Milan-based company, which describes itself as a maker of lawful interception software used by police and intelligence services worldwide, has been accused by anti-surveillance campaigners of selling snooping tools to governments with poor human rights records.
Hacking Team's Twitter account was hijacked on Monday and used by hackers to release what is alleged to be more than 400 gigabytes of the company's internal documents, email correspondence, employee passwords and the underlying source code of its products.
"Since we have nothing to hide, we're publishing all our emails, files and source code," posts published on the company's hijacked Twitter account said. The tweets were subsequently deleted.
Company spokesman Eric Rabe confirmed the breach, adding that "law enforcement will investigate the illegal taking of proprietary company property."
Rabe acknowledged that the company was recommending that clients suspend use of the snooping programs until Hacking Team determines whether specific law enforcement operations have been exposed.
"We would expect this to be a relatively short suspension of service," Rabe told Reuters. Continuación...