Bitcoin transactions have been appealing mostly due to their anonymous nature, but recent reports revealed that spyware firm Hacking Team has been tracking activity on bitcoin wallet sites. Security news provider CSO reported that hackers have been able to access a large cache of files including internal emails, payment invoices and product descriptions.
Hacking Team is a notorious spyware group based in Italy that has been known for providing technology that enables hacking, mass surveillance and data collection. It has also been associated with repressive governments.
Bitcoin Wallets Monitored?
Based on the leaked files, the company has also been tracking activity in the he Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Defense and the Drug Enforcement Agency in the US. Apart from that, files from Saudi Arabia, Oman, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Sudan and other regimes have also emerged.
Hackers who have infiltrated Hacking Team’s files released a torrent of these information, along with source codes. In particular, bitcoin and litecoin transactions can be viewable using this kind of software used by Hacking Team.
This could pose a huge threat to the bitcoin industry, which has been relying on the blockchain or the public ledger of transactions associated with the cryptocurrency. This type of technology has also been tapped for more practical applications, such as creating secure databases or keeping track of intellectual property rights.
Blockchain is considered immutable and the records irreversible, but if a surveillance company can be able to monitor transactions on a bitcoin wallet then it also raises the issue of anonymity for other uses of the blockchain.
Hacking Team’s products offer surveillance tools for the Mac OSX, Linux and Windows systems, enable licensees to monitor activity on a computer affected by the spyware. Users can capture files and email, record sound using the microphone and track the position of the device, among other functionalities.