If you watch movies such as Die Hard 4.0, you’ll know that governments in general do not hold much love for hackers and viruses, but what happens when the government itself is accused of developing a virus? While that sounds like it could be a plot for a movie, German hackers called the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) have discovered a trojan which they’re claiming was written by the German government.
Before you jump to conclusions and think that this is all part of “big brother” monitoring us, it seems that this trojan has been designed to intercept VoIP calls made by suspected criminals and terrorists in an effort to safeguard the nation. However, beyond monitoring VoIP calls, the trojan has been discovered to be able to monitor Skype, MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger communications, log keystrokes in various browsers and also the ability to take screenshots of the computer’s screen.
However while the CCC are claiming it has been written by the German government, security researchers at Sophos and F-Secure have stated that while they can confirm the various functions of the trojan, they are unable to confirm that it was written by/for the German government. According to BusinessWeek:
“The Federal Interior Ministry and its units did not employ the software examined by the CCC, ministry spokesman Markus Beyer said at a routine press conference today in Berlin. “That’s what is decisive for us,” said Beyer. He added that the software is “freely available” and three years old, while declining to say whether the software was designed by or for the government.”