The recent high-profile Cellebrite data breach, which saw a vigilante hacker reportedly break into the Israeli phone hacking firm’s systems made headlines for the nature of the attack. Around 900GB data was reportedly stolen in the attack, which has angered David Vincenzetti, CEO of Italian surveillance firm Hacking Team, who lashed out at “vigilante hackers” and the damage they caused to legitimate firms.
In a show of solidarity, Vincenzetti sent a message to Cellebrite, writing that the recent breach was “hardly something to celebrate”. Hacking Team has itself been the victim of a similar cyberattack in 2015, which saw a hacker going by the pseudonym “Phineas Fisher” claim responsibility for hacking into the surveillance company’s system and leaking 400GB data online.
Vincenzetti claimed that these hackers target companies they dislike and launch targeted cyberattacks in efforts to “destroy” them.
“Self-appointed ‘prosecutors,’ ‘judges’ and ‘executioners’, these secret operators believe it is their mission to attack by whatever means available companies that provide investigative tools to law enforcement,” Vincenzetti wrote, according to Motherboard.
“Never mind the crimes and terrorism facilitated every day by the modern encryption and Internet tools that provide a screen to protect the lawless,” he added.
Vincenzetti lambasted “vigilante hackers”, claiming that they “exploit the very privacy protections they claim to be defending”. He continued, “In the name of protecting Internet ‘privacy,’ these operators seek to simply destroy companies they don’t like. In doing so, they are exploiting the Internet in the same way as do drug dealers, sex trade peddlers and criminal gangs.”
This is not the first time that Vincenzetti has lashed out at vigilante hackers. Following the 2015 breach on his company, Vincenzetti had hit out at the media as well for covering the data breach.
Meanwhile, Cellebrite said that an investigation had been launched into the incident. However, the identity and motive of the hackers responsible for the data breach still remains a mystery.