back to article Finfisher malware authors fire off legal threats to silence German journos

Malware authors behind the Finfisher spyware suite, well beloved by dictators, have sent legal threats intended to silence a German news blog that reported them to criminal prosecutors over allegedly illegal malware exports. "Our reporting on the criminal complaint [we filed] against the producers of the state trojan-horse …

  1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    exports

    " German export law prohibits malware from being shipped directly to Turkey, according to DW."

    Good idea. Do you think they could make it illegal to ship malware *anywhere* ?

  2. Blockchain commentard
    Black Helicopters

    For posting this, expect a cease-and-desist order in the mail.

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      You may want to probe the archive for full coverage. They too will get a cease and desist. Then all of us will see circling helicopters and black suit teams doing high speed chases in our brain paths. Welcome to the internet; love and kisses from dear Streisand.

      Oh, BTW, the max. penalty of 5 years (after German law) would be too easy on the malware pushers. The entire CxO class, all developers and sales drones at Elaman GmbH, FinFisher GmbH and Finfisher Labs GmbH should be charged with assisting torture and murder.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's hoping they go down in flames.

    How can their programmers and coders sleep at night?

    Kudos to El Reg for having the b0llz to stand up to these nefarious ne'er-do-wells!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - Easy answer:

      Money

  4. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    Should be a quick court case

    "Your honour Finfisher say we never contacted them for a reponse. Here are our emails to the finfisher address listed on their contact details dated here and here.

    The defendent rests your honour."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Should be a quick court case

      It doesn't alter the fact that these low life pond scum clearly engaged a lawyer who suggested to them that a policy of nonresponse would allow them to claim they had not had an opportunity to respond. One assumes it was a deliberate tactic.

      Fortunately German lawyers are not nearly as expensive as British or American ones, and German judges seem to be as sensible as ours*, so this could end well.

      *i.e. English. Who's the German equivalent of Lady Hale?

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Should be a quick court case

        Actually, the Scottish lawyers appeared to do a decent job as well. The fact that there is a UK supreme court that is higher than the one in Edinburgh is hopefully a passing fad.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    numerous links

    duly noted :)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We have asked Finfisher's authors whether they wish to comment

    Check your email spam folder for a zip compressed .doc file for our response.

    Sincerely,

    Finfisher Group.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: We have asked Finfisher's authors whether they wish to comment

      ... no, of course it wouldn't open in that sandbox. And you mean, you tried it in a pristine 'puter without a 'net connection [shakes head]?!?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We have asked Finfisher's authors whether they wish to comment

        "... no, of course it wouldn't open in that sandbox. And you mean, you tried it in a pristine 'puter without a 'net connection [shakes head]?!?"

        Hmmm, an Anonymous Coward that can still post icons?

        What kind of dark magic is this?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I’m unfortunate to be attacked in the street, I can use ‘reasonableforce’ to defend myself.

    Not just block punches, but actually hit back.

    Where is this ‘right’ when attacked by malware, spyware etc in the cyber world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - This is reserved

      for TLAs and national defense of countries having the right size of balls. About the same that are buying Finfisher.

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I know it won't happen but...

    I'd like to see the courts turn this round and convict the the malware trolls of malicious and fraudulent prosecution. Also of being accessories to mass murder - 10 years for each instance, to run consecutively.

  9. David Lawrence

    Comedy moment of the year

    " German export law prohibits malware from being shipped directly to Turkey, according to DW."

    Wait..... what???? I nearly ruined my keyboard as I read that. Can that really be true - that they actually have legislation that specific about...… malware?

    Clearly they have high standards that must be upheld at all times. Why, we wouldn't want our malware shipped to such a dreadful place would we? Nonono. We only want to ship our malware to nice places, where human rights are respected, the quality of living is high, the beaches are clean, and (perhaps more importantly) the financial gains are greater...…...

  10. antman

    Docs

    The original article is in the Wayback Machine archive. PDFs of the complaint and appendix in English are stil available from Netzpolitik:

    https://cdn.netzpolitik.org/wp-upload/2019/09/2019-07-05_FinFisher_Criminal-Complaint_ENG.pdf

    https://cdn.netzpolitik.org/wp-upload/2019/09/2019-07-05_FinFisher_Criminal-Complaint_Technical-Appendix_ENG.pdf

  11. MJB7

    Germany and surveillance

    I've said this before, but having a head of government who group up under the Stasi and plenty of pensioners who grew up under the Gestapo, means that Germans tend to be rather more sensitive than most about surveillance and privacy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @MJB7 - Re: Germany and surveillance

      On the other hand, Russians and Chinese have learned how to live under surveillance. Oh, and Americans will have too because it's being pushed on them by their government. I find amazing how much abuse the American people can endure as long as they can keep their assault rifles which it is claimed it should protect them from being abused.

    2. Stork Silver badge

      Re: Germany and surveillance

      What puzzles me is that here in Portugal, which until 1974 had a system not dissimilar to East Germany (incl 10%o of adults as informers) ,most people are quite oblivious.

  12. Steve Goodey

    Re: Challenge

    Haven't Netzpolitik heard of Arkell v. Pressdram?

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