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Mysterious spyware discovered in U.S. computers

Mysterious spyware discovered in U.S. computers
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Hackers just released information proving that shadowy software developed by Gamma Group International was used to spy on computers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Russia, Iran, and Bahrain.

Gamma Group, located in the U.K. is one of the "security" companies that specializes in selling "zero-day" exploits to the highest bidder. Zero-day exploits are any security flaw that developers haven't yet caught and fixed. This allows snoops backdoor access into your computer with minimal risk.

Gamma Group isn't responding interview requests, but Pro Publica looked through the hacker's leaked documents and found some disturbing things.

The leaked files contain more 40 gigabytes of confidential technical material including software code, internal memos, strategy reports and user guides on how to use Gamma Group software suite called FinFisher. FinFisher enables customers to monitor secure web traffic, Skype calls, webcams, and personal files. It is installed as malware on targets' computers and cell phones.

The hacked files also revealed that licensing the software can run the customer about $4 million.

Interestingly, Gamma Group has also been trying to find a way to hack the Silent Circle privacy app. Silent Circle, however, has "serious doubts" about the company's ability to bypass their software.

As far as the hacker who revealed Gamma Group's iffy business practices, Pro Publica goes into more detail.

On Reddit, a user called PhineasFisher claimed responsibility for the leak. "Two years ago their software was found being widely used by governments in the middle east, especially Bahrain, to hack and spy on the computers and phones of journalists and dissidents," the user wrote. The name on the @GammaGroupPR Twitter account is also "Phineas Fisher."

When there's a company handing out snoopware to the highest bidder, your privacy becomes even more important. Check out these three surprising things that spy on you that are impossible to stop.

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Source: ProPublica
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