Feeds

Security researcher cuffed in Telecom Italia spying probe

Preatoni held by carabiniere

Remote control for virtualized desktops

High profile security industry personality Roberto Preatoni was among those arrested on Monday by Italian police investigating an ongoing spying scandal involving Telecom Italia.

Preatoni, founder of security start-up WabiSabiLabi and defacement archive Zone-H, was charged on suspicion of computer hacking and wiretapping, according to local reports. A spokeswoman for WabiSabiLabi confirmed that the Preatoni held by Italian police is the same person as the WabiSabiLabi founder, but was unable to shed much light on the matter. Preatoni remains in Italian police custody, she confirmed, but was unable to say whether or not he'd been charged with any offence. The operation of WabiSabiLabi, which runs a security vulnerability auction site, is proceeding in his absence.

Preatoni's arrest predates his involvement with WabiSabiLabi and involves his work as a penetration tester. A team of security consultants ostensibly hired to test the security of Telecom Italia's security systems allegedly used Trojan horse malware and illegal wiretap techniques techniques to spy on targets including Carla Cico, chief exec of Brasil Telecom, the Kroll investigative agency, and journalists Fausto Carioti and David Giacalone of Italian newspaper Libero, IDG reports.

The scandal has been front page news in Italy for some months. Last January, four people were charged with spying in connection with the affair including Fabio Ghioni, vice president and security CTO at Telecom Italia, and Giuliano Tavaroli, the telco's former head of security. The charges follow the September 2006 arrest of the Telecom Italia pair over alleged abuse of wiretaps.

Preatoni cut a colourful figure in the sometimes staid world of information security, which in recent years has become more dominated by men in suits spouting meaningless marketing platitudes. As well as founding several edgy security start-ups, he lectured at University of Urbino and co-wrote editions of the hacker comic Hero-Z. He is a regular on the security conference circuit and noted as a strong defender of civil liberties in the post 9/11 world. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.