A Munich-based company, FinFisher, was raided by the German investigating authorities because of alleged illegal exporting of its software outside UE, including Turkey. FinFisher is the firm behind the commercial surveillance spyware dubbed as “FinSpy.” This software is a spying tool that was legitimately intended for Law enforcement investigation and intelligence agencies. Its well-known customers include the German Federal Police and Berlin Police.
Ironically, FinSpy was discovered to be operating on some government critics and Journalists from countries like Ethiopia, Bahrain, Egypt, and Turkey. These countries prohibit the export of surveillance tools.
A total of 15 business premises and private apartments in Munich and Romania were searched between October 6- 8. As per Netzpolitik’s blog, the investigators can bring the case to trial once enough evidence was found by the investigators.
This investigation was triggered in 2019 after a criminal complaint was filed by German blog “Netzpolitik” and other several Human Rights Originations contending FinFisher in exporting FinSpy outside the EU without any export license. Exportation without licensing is a criminal offense. The Company has denied the accusations and dispatched a Cease and Desist notice to Netzpolitik.
FinSpy can target different devices such as desktops and mobile Operating Systems such as Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux. From the name itself “FinSpy,” it allows the software Operator to ‘spy’ on a target device such as enabling the victim’s webcam, microphone, intercepts calls, recording everything that is being typed on the device keyboard and exfiltration of sensitive data such as address book, photographs, and videos on the targeted device.
This spying malware can be installed in different ways, such as fake software updates, fake email attachments, and exploiting known security flaws of some popular software. This malware has been designed to elude detection by Antivirus software and reportedly has a version that works on all mobile phones of all the most popular brands. It was previously revealed by Cybersecurity firms that there were more than 20 Countries that are infected by FinSpy malware.
Back in the year 2013, FinFisher was detected impersonating Mozilla Firefox. A Cease and Desist Notice for Trademark Infringement was sent by Mozilla to FinFisher for the said act.
FinFisher GmbH is a Munich, Germany based Company that was founded in 2008. Its tagline is