Today, WikiLeaks has released FinFisher's "weaponized malware," which is used by governments and other organizations around the world for spying on people. Using common malware techniques the software can be used to not only tap PC systems, but also mobile data via iOS, Android and Blackberry devices.
The controversial move to put the software out into the wild is part of a push by WikiLeaks to bring awareness to its existence and to allow developers to create ways to protect against it among other things. WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange said “FinFisher continues to operate brazenly from Germany selling weaponised surveillance malware to some of the most abusive regimes in the world. The Merkel government pretends to be concerned about privacy, but its actions speak otherwise."
The "weaponized malware" is developed by a German company and is documented to be mainly "used against journalists, activists and political dissidents," according to WikiLeaks. It is estimated that FinFisher's revenue from sales pertaining to this software amount to nearly €50,000,000 (more than $64,700,000). WikiLeaks includes governments from the following countries as FinFisher surviellance product clients: Slovakia, Mongolia, Qatar State Security, South Africa, Bahrain, Pakistan, Estonia, Vietnam, Australia, Belgium, Nigeria, Netherlands, and more.
While WikiLeaks is very aware of the risks in making software like this freely available to anyone, it feels that the benefits outweigh the risks and that developers may also be to help track down its "command and control centers."