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Italian Hacking Team sold cyber weapons to Sudan

The Italian surveillance systems company Hacking Team has apparently been selling its cyber weapons to Sudan, and was stonewalling a UN investigation into their business, the media have reported on Monday.

The news came after unknown hackers broke into Hacking Team’s network and stole hundreds of gigabytes of data. The stolen goods which ended up torrented, roughly 400GB of it, include internal documents, emails and source code.

The company is listed by Reporters without Borders on its Enemies of the Internet index for its alleged sale of cybertools to repressive regimes which are known for illegally monitoring activists, IBTimes writes (opens in new tab) in a report.

Hacking Team has categorically denied these charges and claimed they have never done business with Sudan.

However, a leaked spreadsheet lists Russia and Sudan among the countries "not officially supported".

Christopher Soghoian from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took to Twitter, saying the documents show that Hacking Team was stonewalling UN’s investigation into their business.

“By the looks of it, Hacking Team has been stonewalling a 1-year UN investigation of the sale of their tech to Sudan,” he wrote.

Leaked emails also show the official reply of the Italian ambassador to the UN in New York, Sebastiano Cardi, telling the United Nations that Hacking Team "currently has no business relations or any agreements that would allow the Sudan or any entity in its territory to use the software".

Sudan is currently under arms embargo by the UN, which bans the export of "arms and related material" to the the country.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.