Nettime mailing list archives

<nettime> Fwd: Hacked Team [getting off-topic...]
Radovan Misovic on Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:56:23 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Fwd: Hacked Team [getting off-topic...]

I found an interesting article related to this topic.

Hacking Team: a zero-day market case study

This article documents Hacking Team's third-party acquisition of
zero-day (0day) vulnerabilities and exploits. The recent compromise of
Hacking Team's email archive offers one of the first public case studies
of the market for 0days. Because of its secretive nature, this market
has been the source of endless debates on the ethics of it's
participants. The archive also offers insight into the capabilities and
limits of offensive-intrusion software developers. As a private company,
Hacking Team had to contend with the fact that many vendors would only
sell directly to governments and would not work with them. As a result,
their 0day providers tended to be small and unestablished. Some
established exploit vendors, like VUPEN and COSEINC, did offer to sell
Hacking Team exploits, but they were predominantly overpriced,
second-rate, and not even 0day. As a result, Hacking Team was seriously
exploit supply constrained because they had difficulty finding suppliers
that they deemed reliable and reasonably priced. Their competitors, like
Gamma International and NSO Group, prominently advertised their 0day
capabilities, forcing Hacking Team to be defensive with prospective

Despite the lurid journalistic depictions of 0day markets, most of the
emails offer a more mundane perspective. Buyers follow standard
technology purchasing practices around testing, delivery, and
acceptance. Warranty and requirements negotiations become necessary in
purchasing a product intrinsically predicated on the existence of
information asymmetry between the buyer and the seller.
RequirementsÃââlike targeted software configurationsÃââare important to
negotiate ahead of time because adding support for new targets might be
impossible or not worth the effort. Likewise warranty provisions for
buyers are common so they can minimize risk by parceling out payments
over a set timeframe and terminating payments early if the vulnerability
is patched before that timeframe is complete. Payments are typically
made after a 0day exploit has been delivered and tested against
requirements, necessitating sellers to trust buyers to act in good
faith. Similarly, buyers purchasing exploits must trust the sellers not
to expose the vulnerability or share it with others if it's sold on an
exclusive basis.

On a technical level, it's interesting to note the difference in price
for different vulnerabilities. 0day markets allow unique qualitative
comparisons for how difficult it is to exploit a given piece of software
or bypass certain exploit mitigations. However, the reader should be
warned that price comparisons for different exploits should be taken
with a grain of salt. Exploit developers have an incentive to state high
prices and brokers offer to sell both low-quality and high-quality
exploits. If a buyer negotiates poorly or chooses a shoddy exploit, the
vendor still benefits. Moreover, it's difficult to compare the
reliability and projected longevity of vulnerabilities or exploits
offered by different developers. Many of the exploits offered by exploit
brokers are not sold.

Hacking Team's relationships with 0day vendors date back to 2009 when
they were still transitioning from their information security
consultancy roots to becoming a surveillance business. They excitedly
purchased exploit packs from D2Sec and VUPEN, but they didn't find the
high-quality client-side oriented exploits they were looking for. Their
relationship with VUPEN continued to frustrate them for years. Towards
the end of 2012, CitizenLab released their first report on Hacking
Team's software being used to repress activists in the United Arab
Emirates. However, a continuing stream of negative reports about the use
of Hacking Team's software did not materially impact their
relationships. In fact, by raising their profile these reports served to
actually bring Hacking Team direct business. In 2013 Hacking Team's CEO
stated that they had a problem finding sources of new exploits and
urgently needed to find new vendors and develop in-house talent. That
same year they made multiple new contacts, including Netragard, Vitaliy
Toropov, Vulnerabilities Brokerage International, and Rosario Valotta.
Though Hacking Team's internal capabilities did not significantly
improve, they continued to develop fruitful new relationships. In 2014
they began a close partnership with Qavar Security.

The rest of the article is a loosely ordered recollection of Hacking
Team's relationships and correspondences with various 0day providers.
Vitaliy Toropov

Vitaliy Toropov is a Russian freelance exploit developer. He approached
Hacking Team in October of 2013 and offered to sell them exploits for
various browser components.

Business model: Vitaliy is a freelancer that sells his own exploits and
is not incorporated. He has reported dozens of bugs, primarily in
browser components, to iDefense's Vulnerability Contributor Program and
HP's Zero Day Initiative since 2011. It's unclear how many 0day exploits
he has sold outside of public reporting programs, but a steep dropoff in
his reports towards the end of 2013 might indicate the beginning of his
undisclosed sales. Though he sold to Hacking Team directly, there are a
number of indications that he also sold exploits through Netragard's
Exploit Acquisition Program: the description for CANDLESTICK-BARNES is
identical to Vitaliy's description of his Flash exploits to Hacking

Pricing: Vitaliy sold multiple Flash exploits to Hacking Team on a
non-exclusive basis for a relatively cheap $35-45K. He priced exploits
sold on an exclusive basis at about three times as much as on a
non-exclusive basis, indicating that his non-exclusive exploits are
likely frequently resold. Other vendors did not seem to offer such steep
discounts for non-exclusive exploit sales, for example Vulnerabilities
Brokerage International only offered a 20% discount for one
non-exclusive exploit for Firefox. However, it's difficult to gauge the
relative resale popularity of exploits for Firefox and Flash.

Acceptance testing: For their first purchase, Hacking Team had a
three-day evaluation period during which a Flash 0day could be tested to
make sure it reliably worked against the advertised targets. Hacking
Team originally proposed to fly Vitaliy to Milan to be present for the
testing; however, he assumed good faith on their part and allowed them
to test the exploit remotely. They continued this arrangement for their
future sales.

Payment structure: The payment terms for Vitaliy's first two exploits
followed approximately a 50%/25%/25% split. He would be paid 50%
upfront, and then 25% for the next two months, assuming the
vulnerability was not patched. Before he sold his third exploit he
intended to change his payment model so that he would be paid 100%
up-front and provide a replacement exploit if his sale was patched
within two months. But because of miscommunication and Hacking Team's
wariness to embrace a new payment scheme that did not ensure a warranty,
his payments were split.

Exploits: Vitaliy's initial portfolio, which he presented to Hacking
Team towards the end of 2013, consisted of three Flash RCEs (2 UaFs, 1
32-bit only integer overflow), two Safari RCEs (one only affected older
versions of OS X/iOS), and a Silverlight RCE. Hacking Team asked whether
Vitaliy had any privilege escalations or sandbox escapes, but he didn't
present any for the duration of their relationship. Hacking Team
exclusively purchased Flash exploits from Vitaliy. The following table
lays out a timeline of his sales: 
  Date 	Name 	CVE 	Price and Payment    Structure Notes 

10/28/13   FP1 	2015-0349   $45k $20k/$15k/$10k monthly 	
This use-after-free was the first exploit Hacking Team
purchased from Vitaliy. It targeted Flash on both OS X and Windows and
they were very happy with the quality, mentioning that it supported
continuation of execution and executed quickly, in contrast to the
quality they were used to from VUPEN. It was patched in April 2015.

1/2/14 	FP2  2015-5119  $40k $20k/$10k/$10k monthly 	
This exploit was another use-after free targeting both OS X and Windows.
In fact, the vulnerability trigger was so similar to FP1 that it
triggered the discussion noted here. This bug was undiscovered until the
Hacking Team archive was leaked.  

4/16/15  FP3 	?  $39k 60%/20%/20% monthly 	
After FP1 was patched, Hacking Team wanted to purchase a second exploit
to have on hand in case another one of their exploits was patched.
Vitaliy's catalog at the time included three vulnerabilities, and they
chose FP3. Vitaliy wanted to change the payment structure to be paid
100% upfront but the discussion fell through Within a month of the
exploit being sold, the vulnerability was patched.  

5/13/15  FP4   2015-5122   Free! 	
Because FP3 was patched within the warranty period, Vitaliy provided a
free exploit replacement. This bug was undiscovered until the Hacking
Team archive was leaked.

Adobe security: There was an amusing exchange between Vitaliy and
Hacking Team after Vitaliy sold them two exploits with very similar
vulnerability triggers. Hacking Team was concerned that when one bug got
patched, Adobe would also fix the other, and that both of their
purchases would be lost. However, Vitaliy claimed that Adobe's security
response was very poor and that in his experience they never found
similar bugs. Indeed, Adobe fixed one of the bugs (CVE-2015-0349) in
April but did not find the second one (CVE-2015-5119) until Hacking
Team's e-mail archive was released.  

Run by Adriel Desautels, Netragard is an information security
consultancy and exploit broker that acts as the middleman between buyers
and sellers. Hacking Team first made contact with Netragard in July
2011, but they did not establish a working relationship until October
2013. Adriel Desautels claims to have been brokering exploits since
1999. He shut down the Exploit Acquisition Program following the Hacking
Team compromise.

Customer base: Netragard's Exploit Acquisition Program claimed to be
only for US-based buyers; however, Hacking Team used Alex Velasco's
CICOM USA as their US-based proxy with Netragard's knowledge and
consent. After Hacking Team's relationship with CICOM USA soured, Adriel
dealt directly with Hacking Team and in March of 2015 wrote, "We've been
quietly changing our internal customer policies and have been working
more with international buyers ... We do understand who your customers
are both afar and in the US and are comfortable working with you
directly." Despite this, e-mails from February 2015 discussing
Luxembourg's (code name CONDOR) desire to buy exploits explicitly state
that Netragard would not sell outside the US, indicating that they would
not serve Hacking Team's international customers directly, but might be
willing to work with Hacking Team as the intermediary.

Buyer contract: The buyer contract signed between Netragard and Hacking
Team's US-based representative is available here. It lays out the
standard legal boilerplate as well as some interesting terms about
payment structure (ÃÂ2), delivery and acceptance (ÃÂ3), warranty (ÃÂ5),
indemnity (ÃÂ8), and non-solicitation (ÃÂ7). Exploits sold for less than
or equal to $40k are payable at once after a month, otherwise they're
split 50%/25%/25%. Payments are pro-rated if the vulnerability is
patched before payments are complete. Interestingly, the contract
includes a one-year non-solicitation period for Netragard's exploit
developers after the contract has expired, though Netragard is not
obliged to share their identities.

Catalogs: Submissions to the Exploit Acquisition Program were e-mailed
out to Netragard's clients, the following is a list of exploits sourced
from their catalog: 

Date Exploit notes 

03/11/14 SPEEDSTORM 3 ($215k exclusive): Flash across all browsers and Win7,
8, or 8.1 w/ sandbox escape. Modified version of HIGHWOOD used to bypass
sandbox (sandbox bypass alone has sold for $120k non-exclusive.) Found
via manual audit, 'reaching through fuzzing should be impossible'

04/23/14 NEONNIPPLE: Office 2007, Word + Excel, required ActiveX control,
required user interaction (going to Edit menu) MUPPET-GRANT: IE 11 UaF,
only accessible via Word via SMB/WebDAV PEEDSTORM-KONROY: Flash bug w/
sandbox escape, targets XP/7, no Win8 or Chrome support (~80%
reliability), uses modified MOHNS to bypass sandbox. Found via manual
audit, 'reaching through fuzzing should be impossible' Marshmallow: Win7
LPE CANDLESTICK-BARNES: Flash, Win + OSX, 7-year old UaF (Likely written
by Vitaliy Toropov, the description closely matches the one here.)
STARLIGHT-MULHERN: Adobe Reader XI + sandbox escape, mem disclosure +
corruption, modified HIGHWOOD used to bypass sandbox (doesn't use JS or

05/28/14 NARCOPLEX: Ammyy Admin v3.3 and 3.4, client-side bug STIKA ($80k,
non-exclusive): Netgear RCE, exploitable via CSRF

06/06/14 HIGHWOOD-MONHS ($90 non-exclusive): Win XP through 8 LPE
STARLIGHT-MULHERN ($90k non-exclusive): Mentioned before

08/20/14 BACKPAIN-FUN ($100k): Multi-OS Flash SOP bypass

09/24/14 DIGIEBOLA ($50k): Flash auth bypass, 'allows Flash apps on any
website to access and modify Local Shared Objects belonging to any
website' allows changing mic/camera settings for any website

03/01/15 codebyte-001: Flash Win7/8 RCE

03/03/15 REDSHIFT ($105k): Win 7/8 Flash RCE + sandbox bypass w/ SMEP/PXN
bypass & Win 8.1 CFG bypass (!) and continuation of execution

03/05/15 jkw1 ($25k): Oracle RAC/CRS pre-auth root RCE, requires 1521
(SQLNet) connection, not mem corruption, logic flaw + input validation

03/27/15 HastyLizard: QNAP NAS RCE, exploitable via CSRF, logic flaw

04/07/15 TOAD: Win7/8, 2008/2012 server office 2013 SP1/2010 SP2/2007 SP3
client side. Requires WebDAV/SMB load, dll hijacking

04/21/15 edubp06: Windows Media Center client-side

04/21/15 CODEMONKEY: Changes local OS X password

04/24/15 edubp08: Win7/8, 2008/2012 server OLE client-side, exploitable via
Office/Wordpad, required user interaction

04/24/15 edubp09: Win7/8 Word ActiveX IE/Office Web Components (w/o Office?)

04/30/15 edubp10 ($80k): Win7/8 IE11 RCE, requires click on page or running
renderer via MS Word. Bug chain using 5-7 bugs. Good description of some
bugs in the chain, might be possible to reverse engineer. Even more

05/19/15 edubp12: Microsoft Paint accessed via SMB/WebDAV, requires user to
hit Save As, useless bug

Purchasing history: In June of 2014, Hacking Team expressed an interest
in purchasing STARLIGHT-MULHERN, an Adobe Reader XI client-side with
optional sandbox bypass (HIGHWOOD) integrated. The original stated price
was $100k, but it was eventually purchased for $80.5k. It appears that
this was without the HIGHWOOD sandbox bypass since another email
indicates that HIGHWOOD sells non-exclusively for closer to $90-$120k,
but it's unclear whether this is the case from the emails archive.

During the testing of the exploit, Hacking Team discovered that the
exploit did not work on Windows 8.1/x64. After some discussion with
Netragard, Hacking Team was reminded that Windows 8.1 support was not in
the original exploit specification. The developer offered to develop a
new capability against Windows 8.1 for an additional $30k, a discount
over the standalone price of such a technique. It does not appear that
Hacking Team took the developer up on that offer. This vulnerability was
patched in May of 2015.

Hacking Team briefly considered purchasing REDSHIFT for Luxembourg (code
name FALCON); however, they decided to purchase another exploit from
Vitaliy, presumably because it was less than half the proposed cost and
also supported OS X.

iOS exploit pricing: Adriel stated he was supply-constrained for iOS RCE
exploits because exploit developers frequently had their own connections
to sell them, and that he believed that such exploits were overpriced.
An exclusive exploit sale could cost as much as half a million dollars,
but Adriel said he had sold them non-exclusively in the past and the
price would be more palatable.  

In April of 2014, Hacking Team attended the SyScan conference in
Singapore with the intention of recruiting new exploit developers. They
believed that 0day vendors like VUPEN purchased most of their exploits,
and simply passed on higher costs. By contacting researchers directly,
they could get lower prices and more easily direct their research
towards Hacking Team's priorities. They succeeded in making contact with
several researchers interested in working with them, including Eugene
Ching. Eugene demonstrated a proof-of-concept that impressed their
offensive security team. Eugene expressed an interest in leaving his
position at D-crypt's Xerodaylab and founding a company. Hacking Team
was interested in purchasing their output.

By August of 2014, Eugene had founded his new company, Qavar Security
Ltd, and entered a consulting agreement with Hacking Team. Their
contract specified that the purpose of his work was ÃâÅimproving the
analysis of vulnerabilities in order to better [...] RCS.Ãâ The contract
term was for a year, and specified compensation of $80K SGD (~$60k USD.)
The contract also specified a three-year non-compete and
non-solicitation. Eugene began productionizing his Windows local
privilege escalation PoC to work within Chrome and Internet Explorer's
sandboxes. For that exploit, Eugene needed a kernel infoleak to bypass
KASLR from within Chrome's restrictive sandbox and he was quoted $20k
SGD by a Singaporean contact for such an infoleak. It's unclear if he
purchased it or developed his own. A back-up (original email) of this
exploit dated from January 2015 targeted 64-bit Windows 8.1 and included
an info leak.

After several months of development, in April of 2015 Eugene was ready
to deliver his exploit targeting 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows up
to 8.1 to Hacking Team. Eugene was given a $30k SGD (~$20k USD) bonus
for this deliverable. Eugene offered to sell a VLC exploit; however, the
trigger used a playlist which wouldn't normally be opened with VLC, so
he began to develop another VLC exploit targeting videos.

Interestingly, Eugene's responsibility with the Singaporean Army,
presumably for his mandatory service, is to test and fix 0day exploits
that they purchase.  

VUPEN Security is an international exploit developer and broker. Its
relationship with Hacking Team dates back to at least 2009 when the
original contract negotiation was for both Hacking TeamÃââs information
security consultancy and government surveillance businesses. VUPEN
provides 0day, but they also provide an archive of exploits and
proof-of-concepts for older vulnerabilities and these older exploits
made up the bulk of Hacking Team's purchases.

Distrust: Hacking Team's early experiences with VUPEN were frustrating,
they received exploits that only targeted uncommon, old, or very
specific software configurations. Though they negotiated cross-promotion
clauses in their 2011 contract their relationship did not significantly
improve. Hacking Team complained that, despite VUPEN's high-profile
presentations and exploits for Pwn20wn, they did not get any of those
high-caliber exploits and they had to reassure customers who demanded
similar capabilities. They were wary of VUPEN's intimate relationship
with their competitor, Gamma International, and set out to find new 0day
vendors. Hacking Team claimed to know the specifics of an agreement
between VUPEN and their competitor GammaÃââthat gave Gamma access to a
constantly restocked set of 0days. VUPEN claimed that high-quality
exploits cost approximately $100k each, and that it wasn't worth selling
them to Hacking Team's customers for $50k.

They discussed renegotiating their contract, but both parties had
reasons for distrust. Moreover, Hacking Team had been stung by using
generic payloads from VUPEN's exploits. A Kaspersky report that claimed
to have been monitoring a payload used by Hacking Team actually traced a
staging payload used in some of VUPEN's exploits; it had actually
implicated multiple actors, including Hacking Team. Hacking Team's CTO
claimed that VUPEN ÃâÅburnedÃâ their (presumably unsold) vulnerabilities
after a set period of time to move the exploit market; putting their
deployments in jeopardy.

Mobile: VUPEN offered several different remote code execution and local
privilege escalation exploits for Android; however, not all of them were
0day and Hacking Team deemed that the prices were too high to purchase.
Though there was interest in purchasing exploits for iOS, VUPEN said
they were limited to certain customers, presumably high-paying
government agencies.  

Vulnerabilities Brokerage International
Run by Dustin Trammel, also known as I)ruid, VBI is an exploit broker.
The first indications of the relationship between Hacking Team and VBI
date back from August of 2013, but there is no evidence of how or when
their relationship was established. It does not appear that Hacking Team
purchased any exploits from VBI; however, they did begin negotiations
for some exploits.

Exploit portfolios: VBI regularly sent portfolio updates to its
customers. Though they were encrypted, Hacking Team's habit of
forwarding encrypted messages unencrypted means that many of them are
accessible. Several of these forwards included a PDF with VBI's entire
exploit portfolio as I discussed in another post. The following is a
table of their cleartext portfolio updates: Date 	Notes 08/19/13 	ASUS
BIOS device driver LPE, Firefox RCE added 10/14/13 	PDF, McAfee EPO no
longer brokered (purchased by VBI), Windows LPE added 10/28/13 	PDF, PHP
remote sold 11/25/13 	2 McAfee EPO LPEs added 02/24/14 	PDF, "Apple iOS
Remote Forced Access-Point Association"/"Apple iOS Remote Forced
Firmware Update Avoidance" no longer available, OpenPAM (used on BSDs)
LPE added 03/31/14 	PDF, Adobe Reader client-side (w/o sandbox escape),
Windows LPE added 10/06/14 	PDF, Solaris SunSSHD RCE, OS X LPE added

Relationship timeline: Hacking Team's began to negotiate a purchase from
VBI in December of 2013. The exploit, VBI-13-013, was for a Windows
local privilege escalation that could be used to bypass application
sandboxes. It was to be sold on an exclusive basis for $95k (with
commission), negotiated down from the original price of $150k. The
purchase included a two-week long testing and validation period and the
payment structure was such that Hacking Team would pay 50% up front,
including four payments of 12.5% of the total amount over the next four
months. Despite the extended negotiation, there are indications that
Hacking Team did not eventually purchase this exploit. First,
communications about the exploit fell off before testing began and did
not seem to pick back up, and second, though the sale was to be
exclusive, it was listed as still available in later updates.

Hacking Team expressed interested in a pair of exploits, VBI-14-004 and
VBI-14-005, targeting Adobe Reader and the Windows kernel for a sandbox
escape, until they learned they cost approximately $200k combined.

Lastly, Hacking Team began to negotiate purchasing VBI-14-008, an
exploit for Firefox, in December of 2014. They primarily wanted to
repurporse it to target Tor Browser (which is built on top of Firefox
Extended Support Release) but were also interested in greater browser
coverage and avoiding exposing a privilege escalation. The exploit was
priced at $105k for exclusive use, and $84k for non-exclusive use before
any negotiation. In the end the discussion dragged out for too long and
it was sold to another party.  

Rosario is an Italian security researcher with specializations in
browser security and fuzzing. His relationship with Hacking Team dates
back to at least May of 2013 when he was fuzzing browsers on the side
for them. He focused primarily on test case generation as he was not
experienced at writing productionized exploits. During this time he
primarily focused on fuzzing SVG, XSLT, and XPath. He was paid $3.5k EUR
per month, until he ended his contract in January of 2014 because of
family issues. He approached Hacking Team several times after the
termination of his contract, offering to sell them a fuzzed Internet
Explorer test case and exclusive rights to the Fileja fuzzer before its
released at Syscan360.

Fuzzer results: Though Rosario's fuzzers found numerous crashing test
cases, like most fuzzer outputs few of them appeared exploitable. One of
the first crashes that looked exploitable was an IE10 memory corruption
that was patched within a week of its discovery. Soon after, Rosario
found a Firefox crash that looked exploitable but only appeared to occur
under memory pressure. Despite months of analysis, Hacking Team was
unable to turn this into a working exploit. It was discovered in October
of 2013 and VUPEN used the same bug to win Pwn2Own in May of 2014.

Lastly, in February of 2015 after his contract ended, Rosario offered
Hacking Team a crashing IE11 test case but it appears they were unable
to exploit it despite months of effort. It does not appear that Hacking
Team purchased it from Rosario despite their effort, and the
vulnerability was patched as MS15-065 after the Hacking Team archive was

COSEINC is a Singapore-based information security consultancy and 0day
vendor. COSEINC founder, Thomas Lim, also ran and organized the SyScan
security conference before it was sold to Qihoo 360. Hacking Team
inquired about purchasing exploits from COSEINC as early as 2013;
however, they did not appear to be interested in the IE9 exploit offered
at the time. Thomas Lim offered to sell Hacking Team several bugs after
their attendance at SyScan 2014; however, he did not want to discuss the
sale over the phone or within Singapore (an OPSEC mindset that Hacking
Team ridiculed.) After negotiating a third-party country to meet in,
Hacking Team received (note: working attachments here) a list of
exploits Thomas was willing to sell. Two were for old, patched bugs, and
the third, an IE low-to-medium integrity privilege level escalation, was
exorbitantly priced at $500k SGD ($360k USD). These offers give the
appearance that COSEINC was primarily interested in offloading old or
overpriced bugs to Hacking Team.  Miscellaneous

Ability Ltd is an Israeli corporation focusing on interception and
decryption tools. Ability's founder, Anatoly Hurgin, approached Hacking
Team in January of 2013 to discuss reselling RCS to a customer to whom

he could not resell NSO's surveillance software because of NSO's
political commitments. He returned in December of 2014 to offer Hacking
Team an OS X-specific Flash exploit with an OS X sandbox escape;
however, Hacking Team deemed it to be too expensive. No record was found
of the stated price.

DSquare Security
DSquare Security sells CANVAS exploit packs targetted towards
penetration testers. Hacking Team purchased the Exploitation pack in
2009, but quickly realized that the penetration testing focus did not
suit their business.

Keen Team
Keen Team, a Chinese security group, met Hacking Team at SyScan 2014 and
Hacking Team expressed an interest in purchasing exploits from them.
Though Hacking Team initiated a conversation with them, no record was
found of Keen Team offering to sell them any.

LEO Impact Security
In a particularly amusing episode, Hacking Team came into contact with
Manish Kumar of LEO Impact Security and appears to have purchased a fake
Microsoft Office exploit in spite of his questionable credentials.
Unfortunately, I could not find a record of how much they paid.

ReVuln is an Italian exploit vendor founded by Luigi Auriemma. Hacking
Team briefly communicated with them but decided that their server-side
exploit focus did not suit their business.

Security Brokers
Security Brokers, an Italian company founded by Raoul Chiesa, brokers
0day exploits. Hacking Team did not contact them because they believed
it was sketchy and the Hacking Team CEO called Raoul his 'ex-friend'
because he had worked with a competitor.  Conclusions

Security takeaways: The exposure of pricing and vulnerability
information gives the information security community a valuable trove of
data to find undiscovered vulnerabilities and corroborate our intuitions
about the effectiveness of security controls. Though some common
software, like browsers and operating system kernels, is far too large
and complex to allow one to find the specific vulnerabilities described
by 0day vendors, this does not hold for all of the vulnerabilities they
advertised. For example, the extensive portfolios advertised by
Vulnerabilities Brokerage International include some vulnerabilities
with narrow-enough scopes to allow auditors to search for them, e.g.
SunSSHD remote roots or an OpenPAM local privilege escalation.

After combing through the Hacking Team archive, there are two points
that stuck out to me on the topic of corroborating commonly held
security intuitions. Firstly: the rumors about high-priced 0days for iOS
have been bolstered by the numbers quoted by vendors and the exclusivity
with which they consider them. (This is not surprising given the
widely-spread rumors about iOS 0day-exploit chains fetching over a
quarter million dollars each, but it's reassuring knowing that their
exclusivity puts them out of range of second-rate surveillance
contractors like Hacking Team.) Secondly: given Java's notoriously poor
security track record and the subsequent initiatives by browser vendors
to disable Java or relegate it to click-to-play status, it's encouraging
to see that there were no click-to-play bypasses offered to Hacking
Team. They might well exist, but they don't appear to be common; this
offers a convenient path forward for browser vendors to enact a
widespread shutdown of Adobe Flash next.

Notoriety and Wassenaar: Notoriety has come with limited consequences
for Hacking Team. Some of their customers are wary of being targeted for
inclusion in tell-all reports that might bring political consequences.
The inclusion of 'intrusion software' in the recently proposed changes
to the Wassenaar Arrangement is a direct consequence of the backlash
against surveillance companies like Hacking Team and Gamma International
selling their products to repressive regimes. However, the overall
picture for Hacking Team hasn't considerably changed despite the
negative publicity and the implementation of the new changes to the
Wassenaar Arrangement in the EU. Italy granted Hacking Team carte
blanche for exporting their products, sales have continued to increase,
and their 0day vendors have not deserted them. Given America's long
history of supporting repressive allies in the Middle East and
elsewhere, I am skeptical that the implementation of the proposed BIS
rules would actually prevent the transfer of such technology to
repressive governments. Efforts to shame and regulate Hacking Team have
been unsuccessful so far; governments efforts to improve worldwide
security would be more effective at thwarting Hacking Team and their ilk
than Wassenaar.

Correction 7/22/15: I've restated the Keen Team section to make it clear
that Hacking Team solicited them, not the other way around.

Update 7/23/15: Clarified Hacking Team's second-rate 0day market access,
expanded wording about healthy skepticism about stated exploit prices,
added ReVuln to misc. section

Published on 22 Jul 2015

taken over from:

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: http://mx.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} kein.org