Feeds

Security researcher cuffed in Telecom Italia spying probe

Preatoni held by carabiniere

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.