Who is behind the newborn Grey Heron surveillance company? According to an investigation conducted by Motherboard, the firm is linked to the Italian surveillance firm Hacking Team.
The development and sale of surveillance software is a profitable business, many government agencies use spyware for different purposes, in some their involvement is very questionable.
The company was advertising a spyware that is able to spy on Signal and Telegram communications.
The name Grey Heron was unknown also among the security community, but the investigation conducted by Motherboard linked the company to the controversial Italian surveillance firm Hacking Team,
Motherboard obtained a brochure of the company that uses the following statement to describe its mission:
“Grey Heron’s mission is to provide to law enforcement the strong tools to balance the capabilities of those who wish to do harm,”
According to a source familiar with the company, Grey Heron was formed from several players surveillance industry.
The hackers stole company’s emails, customer records, and the source code for hacking tools and exploits.
In 2017, the company was bought by an entity linked to the Saudi Government bought.
A new post written by Joseph Cox along with the colleague Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, cited a former Hacking Team employee, who speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the link between Hacking Team and Grey Heron.
“Except those customers who don’t care because they buy spyware without thinking twice,” “I imagine that there’s a lot of them who don’t see Hacking Team favorably anymore, including the reselling partners, perhaps even more so than the final customers.”
The interesting news is that Grey Heron has confirmed privately that the Italian Government has given it the permission to export its products throughout the European Union.
Grey Heron is looking with great interest at both the European and North American markets.
(Security Affairs – Hacking Team, Grey Heron)
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