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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Gov’t did buy spyware, tech blogger alleges

Keith Rozario uploads links to two telegraphic transfer slips that prove spyware was purchased although by Miliserv Technologies Sdn Bhd and not PM's Department per se.
PETALING JAYA: Despite vehement denials that the Prime Minister’s Department purchased spyware of any kind, a technology blogger has said he has evidence that the government actually did.
Taking to his blog, keithRozario.com he uploaded links to two telegraph transfer (TT) slips that detail two large payments from Miliserv Technologies Sdn Bhd Malaysia to Hacking Team, an Italian security firm dealing in such spyware.
He said, “… if the Government hasn’t procured spyware from Hacking Team, I strongly advise the Minister (Azalina Othman) to investigate this local Malaysian company for making huge payments to an enemy of the Internet.”
He was referring to a denial Azalina made in Parliament on November 23 this year that “no such device” had been purchased by the PM’s Department.
The first TT slip bears the amount 38,000 EUR while the second 210,000 EUR.
He explained: “Hacking team sold its specially crafted spyware to at least 3 agencies within the Malaysian Government. These tools are meant for spying on specific individuals and not for mass-surveillance of the population.”
Rozario said that while he could appreciate how some agencies like the police or military had “legitimate” use for such spyware, he questioned the manner in which this particular spyware was being used by the government.
“Is it used with a warrant? Is it used for catching criminals, or criminalising politicians (and their lawyers)?,” he asked.
“The beauty of buying this stuff through a company like Miliserv is it puts the government at a distance, and gives them sufficient coverage from accusations.
“BUT….we can gauge who they’re targeting by looking at the documents Miliserv asked to be infected,” Rozario explained.
These documents included files with such titles as “Senarai cadangan calon PRU Ke-13 mengikut negeri” (List of nominated candidates for GE13 according to state) and “Pengundi asing” (Foreign voters) that he said purportedly “showed the use of foreign nationals to vote in the Malaysian election.”
Yet another filed that Miliserv asked to be infected was “Dakwat kekal” or Indelible Ink, that was used for the first time in 2013.
“Besides the fact, that the Government was essentially spreading rumours about itself, these carrier documents don’t point to ISIS (Islamic State) terrorist or hard core gangsters. These point to the average citizens, and specifically opposition supporters.
“Doesn’t exactly scream lawful usage. Does it?”
Rozario first wrote about the government’s alleged purchase of spyware in July this year when he said both the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the PM’s Department had bought Hacking Team’s spyware through Miliserv Technologies.
According to its website, Miliserv Technologies is a 100 per cent Bumiputera company registered with the Finance Ministry, and founded to provide “advanced digital technology products” in IT and intelligence gathering.

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