WikiLeaks releases copies of FinFisher ‘weaponised surveillance malware’

WikiLeaks has released copies of what it describes as "weaponised German surveillance malware" which is used by regimes and intelligence agencies across the world to spy on political activists, journalists and the like.

FinFisher is the German company which produces this malware, and it was brought into the spotlight by WikiLeaks back at the end of 2011.

Evidently the company's wares have not gone out of fashion, and indeed now span a considerable breadth of platforms including Windows, OS X and Linux on the desktop front, and all major mobile operating systems (including less popular efforts like BlackBerry and Symbian).

Hence WikiLeaks has released the malware in the hope that it will help security firms build defences against it.

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Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Editor in Chief, commented (via the Inquirer): "FinFisher continues to operate brazenly from Germany selling weaponised surveillance malware to some of the most abusive regimes in the world. The Merkel government pretends to be concerned about privacy, but its actions speak otherwise."

"Why does the Merkel government continue to protect FinFisher? This full data release will help the technical community build tools to protect people from FinFisher including by tracking down its command and control centres."

According to WikiLeaks, FinFisher has made no less than €50 million (£40 million) from sales of its products, and that is apparently a conservative estimate.

We reported on FinFisher back in the autumn of 2012, and at that point, command and control servers had been found in 15 countries across five continents (including the US and Australia).