German Government Spyware Transforms Citizen’s Computers Into ‘Big Brother’-Type Surveillance Devices

CCCDiscovered by the Chaos Computer Club, reports GlobalPost:

The use of so-called “Trojan horse” software by authorities in a number of German states came to light after the Computer Chaos Club, a hacker group, published details of their examination of spyware planted on a laptop in Bavaria.

It found that the software — developed by a private company called DigiTask for the Bavarian police — was capable of much more than just monitoring internet phone calls. It could take screenshots, remotely add files and control a computer’s microphone or webcam to monitor the person’s home. However, the authorities insist that they did not deploy these functions. Investigations are ongoing.

Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant with British computer security firm Sophos, which also analyzed the software, said that the spyware could “automatically update itself over the internet, so new functionality can be added. It can be used to install new software onto the computer, so people could actually alter the contents of a suspect’s hard drive.”

The scandal has led politicians and security experts to look at whether the country’s already stringent privacy laws need firming up.

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12 Comments on "German Government Spyware Transforms Citizen’s Computers Into ‘Big Brother’-Type Surveillance Devices"

  1. Mamagriff50 | Oct 31, 2011 at 11:12 pm |

    If the Germans are doing it, You can be Damn sure our government is doing it.

  2. Mamagriff50 | Oct 31, 2011 at 7:12 pm |

    If the Germans are doing it, You can be Damn sure our government is doing it.

  3. Is this “Big Brother” only acting in Germany, or other governments are watching us?

  4. Is this “Big Brother” only acting in Germany, or other governments are watching us?

  5. So which software do I need to use to protect me against this intrusion?

  6. So which software do I need to use to protect me against this intrusion?

  7. Three cheers for the last line of defense against totalitarian surveillance states…codemonkeys!!! Bless their little hearts!

  8. Three cheers for the last line of defense against totalitarian surveillance states…codemonkeys!!! Bless their little hearts!

  9. I actually worry about this a lot. Hasn’t the PATRIOT Act allowed the government to do this for years now? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_PATRIOT_Act  — No one seems to care.

  10. I actually worry about this a lot. Hasn’t the PATRIOT Act allowed the government to do this for years now? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_PATRIOT_Act  — No one seems to care.

  11. There was a joke that circulated on the internet a while back which went to the idea that the US government (and major portions of many state and local governments and even the Presidency) could be outsourced to India or other … These little code snippets are how some websites (and spyware) recognize you, track your movement on the web and so forth.

  12. There was a joke that circulated on the internet a while back which went to the idea that the US government (and major portions of many state and local governments and even the Presidency) could be outsourced to India or other … These little code snippets are how some websites (and spyware) recognize you, track your movement on the web and so forth.

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