Among the revelations in the cache of documents leaked after the attack on HackingTeam was information about Netragard selling an exploit to the Italian maker of intrusion and surveillance software. The HackingTeam documents also showed that the company sold its products to a variety of customers associated with oppressive regimes, including Egypt and Ethiopia. In the last, HackingTeam officials had denied that they dealt with such customers, but the leaked emails and other documents from the attack earlier this month showed otherwise.
Now, CEO Adriel Desautels said the company has decided to end its exploit acquisition program altogether due to the ethical and political issues it involves.
We’ve decided to terminate our Exploit Acquisition Program (again). Our motivation for termination revolves around ethics, politics, and our primary business focus. The HackingTeam breach proved that we could not sufficiently vet the ethics and intentions of new buyers. HackingTeam unbeknownst to us until after their breach was clearly selling their technology to questionable parties, including but not limited to parties known for human rights violations. While it is not a vendors responsibility to control what a buyer does with the acquired product, HackingTeam’s exposed customer list is unacceptable to us. The ethics of that are appalling and we want nothing to do with it,” he said in a blog post over the weekend.