New Delhi,RUKMINI S: India’s top security and intelligence agencies consistently refuse to give out any…
New Delhi,Manan Kumar: Whistleblower Wikileaks has published searchable database of over a million leaked emails, including those related to the Indian intelligence agencies, from the data of Hacking Team (HT) – a nefarious Italian spyware company, that itself was hacked in a big way this week.
The released data reveals that not only Indian intelligence agencies but several states’ police forces also were procuring powerful surveillance technology which can infect and target desktops, intercept mobile calls, steal files and even spy on emails.
The leaked emails include one related to CABSEC (Cabinet Secretariat or R&AW, India’s external espionage agency) which HT claimed was one of their clients.
While the veracity of the documents released by the WikiLeaks is yet to be established, the email exchanged between NICE Systems Ltd, Israel and HT, Italy shows that R&AW had made an offer to these companies in August 2011, claiming it was already a customer.
An email from Adam of Nice Systems to Marco of HT, Italy on August 21, 2011 said: “CABSEC is an Intelligence organisation, directly under the Prime Minister’s office. They are already a customer of us (for other solutions…). I will prepare and update about all opportunities and will forward to you ASAP.”
The purported leaked email and attachments also made public the presentation that was given to R&AW about lawful hacking platform which offers Intelligence monitoring and remote-controlling of targeted computers and mobile devices.
An email with subject line – Marketing Exercise – India – sent in January 2014 shows that a company called Semco India marketed HT software to the Andhra Pradesh police Special Intelligence Branch, the Intelligence Branch of the Karnataka police, the Intelligence Branch of the Gujurat police, the Special Branch and Economic Offenses Wing of the Delhi police, the Anti-Terrorism Squad of the Mumbai police, and to R&AW.
At the same time, the HT and its associate companies were also selling snooping devices to agencies in Pakistan as email dated August 20, 2013 claimed that at least two other companies joined together to supply equipment to Pakistan’s ISI.
“As Mostapha informed you, you will be your peer for the Pakistan activities. As we informed Mostapha we currently awaiting the promotion of the new DGT of ISI, any action with the current one will be a waste of time as he will be out of the job soon.”
Sources in the intelligence agencies, however, claimed that leaks will not compromise their strategic intelligence collection as all the equipment purchased are meant for lawful interception against terror outfits and elements inimical to the nation.
Another leaked email suggests that Hack Team, Italy was contacted by an Indian company to submit a proposal for Tamil Nadu Cyber Crime division.
“We are in touch with the Tamil Nadu Cyber Crime division and have been told that the division does not have enough strength to track and monitor mobile signals.”