Spectacular breach at Italian surveillance company puts the world's spymasters in the hot seat

Associated Press

A dramatic breach at an Italian surveillance company has exposed details of government cyberattacks worldwide, putting intelligence bosses in the hot seat.

Leaked emails from the Milan-based Hacking Team posted to the Internet on July 5 detail how police and spy agencies using the company's software to break into smartphones and hijack computers.

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The emails have pulled back the curtain on espionage in the iPhone age.

Senior security figures have been quizzed about Hacking Team by lawmakers in Italy, the Czech Republic and South Korea. Revelations that the Cyprus Intelligence Service secretly used the spyware prompted the resignation of the agency's boss over the weekend.

Israel-based security researcher Tal Be'ery calls it "a mini-Snowden event."

Hacking Team did not immediately return messages Thursday.