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[liberationtech] Finfisher Spy Kit Revealed in Bahrain

Ronald Deibert r.deibert at
Wed Jul 25 06:13:46 PDT 2012

For Immediate Release

From Bahrain With Love: FinFisher’s Spy Kit Exposed?

July 25, 2012 -- The Citizen Lab announces the publication of a detailed post analyzing several pieces of malware targeting Bahraini dissidents, shared with us by Bloomberg News.

The analysis suggests that the malware used is "FinSpy," part of the commercial intrusion kit, Finfisher, distributed by the United Kingdom-based company, Gamma International.

The commercial market for computer network attack, exploitation, and targeted surveillance products and services is growing. Several reports have identified these products and services being marketed to regimes that violate human rights or employ them to quell political opposition. However, the market is shrouded in secrecy with some companies going so far as advertising their clandestine capabilities. 

The market has been controversial: In September 2011, the EU Parliament passed a resolution that bans the export of information technology systems that can be used “in connection with a violation of human rights, democratic principles or freedom of speech […] by using interception technologies and digital data transfer devices for monitoring mobile phones and text messages and targeted surveillance of Internet use.”

While there have been reports and descriptions of Gamma International's products (including revelations that they had been sold to the Egyptian government's state security apparatus), this is the first public analysis of the Finfisher toolkit.

Malware analysis by Morgan Marquis-Boire and Bill Marczak. Assistance from Seth Hardy and Harry Tuttle gratefully received.

Special thanks to John Scott-Railton.

Thanks to Marcia Hofmann and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

We would also like to acknowledge Privacy International for their continued work and graciously provided background information on Gamma International.

For full report, please see:

For Bloomberg news report, please see here:

For press inquiries, please contact info at

Ronald J. Deibert
Professor of Political Science
Director, The Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and
The Citizen Lab
Munk School of Global Affairs
University of Toronto
r.deibert at

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