Privacy bods Detekt Hacking Team code nasty dressed as bookmark manager

Spyware-spotting project scores hit in first week of release

The Detekt privacy tool has discovered Hacking Team's Windows spyware masquerading as a benign bookmark manager.

Detekt was launched last week and offers users of Windows systems to inspect their machines for traces of known government spyware.

Developer Claudio Guarnieri said on Twitter the tool discovered the malicious toolkit masquerading as the benign software noting that an unknown user uploaded the file to the Virus Total analysis engine.

The malware was signed with a Comodo certificate signed by 'Jagdeependra' and not the author of the bookmark manager Outertech, prompting the latter to take to Twitter to inform customers to download its wares from its official website.

Detekt is a triaging utility for users who may be likely targets of government spyware and remote access trojans, and not as a replacement for anti-virus. It may, however, suffer to a lesser extent from some of the cat-and-mouse failures afflicting anti-virus tools.

The software is the brainchild of Citizen Lab, Amnesty International and the Electronic Frontier Foundation and represented a "strike back against governments who are using information obtained through surveillance to arbitrarily detain, illegally arrest and even torture human rights defenders and journalists" Amnesty International's Marek Marczynski said.

Hacking Team's software can infect computers to help police and intelligence agencies spy on political dissidents, journalists and other targets. ®

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the detected malware was created by FinFisher, rather than Hacking Team.

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