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WikiLeaks: Magyar Telekom tried to buy spyware

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Magyar Telekom, the Hungarian subsidiary of German telco giant Deutsche Telekom, apparently made an attempt to buy spyware from the recently hacked Italian Hacking Team, an email published by WikiLeaks shows.

International Business Times reported today that millions of emails from Hacking Team’s servers have been retrieved and published on WikiLeaks. The database of WikiLeaks contains an email entitled “FW: enquiry about products” in which an employee of Magyar Telekom, on behalf of the company, apparently attempted to buy spying software from Hacking Team. The email can be read below, with personal information deleted:

“Dear Relationship Manager, I am M.Sz. from Magyar Telekom Plc. We are interested in buying  products  from your company. If it is possible, we would kindly ask you to inform us of ordering and delivery procedures. Please also let us know about your terms of payment. We would appreciate an early reply. Best Regards,  M.Sz. senior security manager Magyar Telekom Plc.Group Security Directoratee-mail: *************@telekom.hu”

Another leaked email in the database reveals that Hacking Team answered that they only sell their products to a “government entity/agency” and asked for further information on the project Magyar Telekom needed the software for. There are no further emails in the database on the matter.

The Hungarian secret service was forced to stop using their Hacking Team spy software, which they had employed to monitor conversations on smartphones and to obtain sensitive data, after service provider Hacking Team reported being hacked, Hungarian online daily Népszabadság reported this morning.

In response to a query by index.hu on the issue, Magyar Telekom said in an announcement sent to the daily that the company “monitors the market and companies” which can retrieve the personal data of their clients. The announcement noted that “knowledge about such software helps service providers, therefore Magyar Telekom, in protecting its network with the most modern solutions at the highest level”.

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