Phineas Fisher argued that leaking documents to show corruption and abuse of power is real "ethical hacking," as opposed to doing consulting work for companies who are often the ones that actually deserve to be hacked.Hacking Team is a Italian company that sells spyware and hacking services to police and intelligence agencies across the world. Through the years, researchers have documented several cases where Hacking Team's tools were used against journalists, dissidents, or activists."I see [Hacking Team's CEO David] Vincenzetti, his company, and his friends in the police, military and governments, as part of a long tradition of Italian fascists," Phineas Fisher continued, writing in Spanish. (Vincenzetti often signs his emails with the fascist motto "Boia chi molla")
"And that's all it takes to take down a company and stop its abuses against human rights."
Last year, the hacker, who's been only known as Phineas Fisher, though his Twitter account's handle is now "Hack Back," broke into the corporate servers of Hacking Team, going seemingly unnoticed for weeks.In early July of 2015, the hacker culminated his intrusion by leaking online a massive treasure trove of files containing thousands of internal documents, emails, and even the source code of the company's hacking tools—in other words, Phineas Fisher took everything there was to take, laying bare all the company's secrets, including its once closely-held list of customers.On the night the hacker published the data, he revealed himself to be the same person who in 2014 breached Gamma International, a Hacking Team's competitor that sells spyware called FinFisher. For months, however, one big question has remained unanswered: how did the hacker manage to embarrass and completely own a company whose whole business model depended exactly on hacking other people?At the time, the hacker promised he'd soon tell the world. He just wanted to wait a little time, he said on Twitter, until Hacking Team "had some time to fail at figuring out what happened and go out of business."
In the guide, Phineas Fisher encourages others to follow his example."Hacking is a powerful tool. Let's learn and fight!" he wrote, quoting the anarcho-syndicalist labor union Comision Nacional de Trabajo, or CNT. After Phineas Fisher hacked Gamma Group in 2014, the CNT said that it was clear technology was just another front in class warfare, and that it was time to "take a step forward" with "new forms of fighting."
"Hacking gives the underdog a chance to fight and win."