By Daniel Hernandez and Gabriela Gorbea / Vice News
Mexico is by far the biggest paying client of Hacking Team, the Italian cyber-surveillance firm now at the center of a massive hack of its internal data, documents show.
The country has paid more than $6.3 million to help it spy on its targets, topping the nearest state client Italy by $1.9 million. A graph leaked online and linked to the firm shows Mexico, Italy, and Morocco are the highest paying clients of Hacking Team, followed by Saudi Arabia, Chile, and Hungary.
At least 14 Mexican states and government agencies have hired the company’s services since 2010, with Mexico’s interior ministry being the most recurrent client.
A day after the documents began circulating, Mexico’s interior minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong acknowledged the government had hired Hacking Team’s services, but that it occurred during the administration of the previous president, Felipe Calderon.
However, leaked documents tell a different story, with CISEN, Mexico’s civil national-security intelligence service, listed as one of Hacking Team’s active clients — and one that pays a lot.