Founder of Hacking Team, a Spyware Maker, Arrested for Attempted Murder

Local media reports that the founder of the notorious spyware maker Hacking Team has been arrested for allegedly stabbing and attempting to murder a relative.

David Vincenzetti, who established Hacking Team in 2003, was taken into custody after his cousin contacted the police due to concerns about his wife’s well-being. According to reports by Italian news outlets, the woman, who was looking after Vincenzetti, reportedly suffered from his psychological problems.

When appearing before a judge, Vincenzetti did not address the incident but instead rambled about his work and companies. Subsequently, the judge ordered an assessment of his mental health state.

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Do you have information about this incident or Hacking Team’s past activities? Contact Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai securely on Signal at +1 917 257 1382 or via Telegram, Keybase, and Wire @lorenzofb, or email [email protected] from a non-work device. You can also reach TechCrunch via SecureDrop.

A telephone operator at the San Vittore prison in Milan, where Vincenzetti is reportedly being held, declined to confirm his detainment or facilitate communication with any detainee when contacted by TechCrunch.

Vincenzetti had withdrawn from public attention since 2020, declaring on his LinkedIn account that Hacking Team was “dead” and subsequently selling the company, which was re-branded to Memento Labs.

Hacking Team was a pioneering developer and seller of spyware to governments worldwide. Despite defending its sales to legal government entities, the company faced accusations of enabling the targeting and hacking of journalists and dissidents.

In a significant blow to the company, secretive hacker “Phineas Fisher” infiltrated Hacking Team in 2015, exposing internal emails and the source code of the spyware. This breach led to the departure of key developers, a loss of customers, and eventual changes in ownership.

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