Clive Robinson April 6, 2022 10:48 AM

@ ALL,

The article title is,

Victory! FinFisher shuts down

I don’t see it as a “Victory”, yes I’m glad that as a group they won’t be selling tyrants, despots and worse some of the means to stay in power.

But consider those who worked for FinFisher, and ask yourself where are they going, and what they are going to do?

Like as not they will find enployment doing the same thing for different masters or they will use their skills in other illegal ways…

Speaking of legality FinFisher could have been shut down quickly, easily and effectively ages ago, all it nerdd was a signiture on the bottom of some legislation.

And that’s the sad thing and why this “Victory” is at best pyrrhic.

We need legislation to stop such activities, though how we go about it without making the legislation ineffectively narrow or dangerously wide, is very much open to discussion.

But I suspect we will not get any legislation… Because those who enact the legislation would not want to sign it, we know that from previous legislation. They see the future differently to most, they want no right of freedom from surveillance for the citizens as that would reduce the legislators power over the citizens and that in their eyes is a limitation they will not tolerate as it robs them of power…

Jonathan Wilson April 6, 2022 2:53 PM

Are cyber-weapons like this on export control restriction lists like the Wassenaar Agreement? If not, why not?

That said, the countries that are being sold these weapons (such as Turkey and Bahrain) are close friends of the US and its allies anyway and would be allowed to buy such technology just like they are allowed to buy other weapons from the US like the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet.

Ted April 6, 2022 5:04 PM

@Jonathan Wilson

Are cyber-weapons like this on export control restriction lists

According to the Netzpolitik article, yes. It would have needed approval from the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA), which it did not have. Exporting without a permit is a criminal offense.

On a side note, is the company trying to continue under the name Vilicius Holding?

Z.Lozinski April 7, 2022 4:34 AM

@Jonathan Wilson

Are cyber-weapons like this on export control restriction lists


They are already covered as Dual-Use Items under section 4A005 of the Wassenaar Arrangement .. ‘Systems, equipment, and components therefor, specially designed or modified for the generation, command and control of “intrusion software”‘

See Official Journal of the EU Volume 62 30 Dec 2019 which transposes the 2019 version of Wassenaar into EU Law, and which has the dual-use list, the military list

Anonymous April 7, 2022 3:03 PM

The spokesperson said that the prosecutor’s office had ordered the seizure of FinFisher assets that it alleged had been “obtained from an illegal act.” The planned asset seizure is no longer possible due to the insolvency

Victory indeed.

Evasion of justice, rather.

Anonymous April 18, 2022 7:34 PM

Clive is absolutely correct. This is pointless unless we also shut down Zerodium, Endgame, Leidos, Raytheon (SI), Vencore, VRL, In-Q-Tel and all the other countless ethically-challenged opportunists.

With that said, it is a move in the right direction, and I hope this is used as precedent to shut more of them down.

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