After the makeover as Memento Labs, Hacking Team decides to participate in ISS World Middle East

Cyber Warfare Asia
2 min readJul 5, 2021

Italian Cybersecurity firm Memento Labs, offering hacking tools to law enforcement and intelligence agencies, was once a hand and glove with Hacking Team but now it has started distancing itself from it steadily. Hacking Team was purchased by a firm called InTheCyber and rebranded as Memento Labs in 2019.

The rebranded Hacking Team is now all set to take part in the ISS World Middle East to be held from 28 to 30 June in Dubai. The new version of Hacking Team is now looking forward to break into the interceptions hardware market, starting with the IMSI catchers.

However, the Italian firm may face challenges to rebuild its reputation for gaining market foothold as it’s not easy to compete with a surveillance industry giant the size of Israel’s NSO Group and Germany’s Gamma International.

A news flash out in 2015 stated the fallout of Hacking Team, which at one point was a leader in the so-called lawful intercept industry. In 2015, a vigilante hacker — Phineas Fisher targeted the company and publicly released a huge cache of internal documents and files, triggering a downward spiral for the firm. As a result, the Hacking Team has not recovered till date.

It previously sold hacking tools to democracies and authoritarian governments around the world and spyware offered by it was being used by government agencies in over 30 countries, including many with abysmal records on rights, like Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar.

One of its software that enables such high-level spying was Remote Control System (RCS) — a ‘cyber security’ solution developed by Hacking Team. The firm is notorious for its spy tools sold to countries as far and wide as Sudan, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, India, Mexico and Russia.

For example, the Toronto-based research group Citizen Lab found that the renowned Emirati Human Rights Activist Ahmed Mansoor was targeted in 2011 with FinSpy, produced by the German company FinFisher, and in 2012 with Remote Control System (RCS), produced by the Italian company Hacking Team. The UAE authorities detained Mansoor for six months in 2011.

Memento Labs participation in the ISS World Middle East can prove a big hit for the newly branded firm and may help it in gaining major cyber contracts which can be crucial for building its space in the global cyber market.

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Cyber Warfare Asia

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