Report: Ethiopian Government Hacks Journalists in U.S. and Europe

A demonstrator waves an Ethiopian flag outside the White House to protest mistreatment of opposition leaders in their homeland on Nov. 15, 2005.
A demonstrator waves an Ethiopian flag outside the White House to protest mistreatment of opposition leaders in their homeland on Nov. 15, 2005.

By Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchiera

(Mashable)The Ethiopian government reportedly used surveillance technology created by an Italian company to hack into the computers of Ethiopian journalists in the United States and Europe.

Journalists at the Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT), a news organization comprised mostly of Ethiopian expatriates, were targeted with spying software made by the Italian company company Hacking Team, according to a new report by Citizen Lab, a nonprofit research lab that investigates surveillance technology across the world.

The investigation, released on Wednesday, is another example of how governments around the world are increasingly using hacking tools. These are often purchased from vendors that design and market them specifically for law enforcement agencies — but often governments end up using them against dissidents or journalists.

“This stuff is sold widely, and as such it is also used widely,” Morgan Marquis-Boire, a security researcher who worked on the report, told Mashable. “This type of targeted surveillance is a common method for tracking journalist in the in the diaspora.” Read more..

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