The German government is spying on computer users in its country with a trojan horse program without their consent, a German hacker group claims.
The Chaos Computer Club (CCC), claims on its website that it has obtained and analyzed software that is ostensibly a "lawful interception" program designed to legally listen in on internet-based phone calls as part of a legal wiretap. Its capabilities, the group says, go beyond legally acceptable bounds, MSNBC is reporting.
The program is capable of logging keystrokes, activating Webcams, monitoring Web users' activities and sending mountains of data to government officials, the club said.
Covering its tracks, through rented servers located in the United States, the program logs keystrokes, activates webcams, monitors internet activities and sends data to government officials, the club alleges.
However, the CCC said, the spyware appeared to be of poor quality and dubious application. "We are extremely pleased that a competent programming expert couldn't be found for this computer bug of morally questionable use," the CCC said in statement and reprinted by thelocal.de.
Focusing on IT security issues, CCC expressed concern that the program did not provide even basic protection for the data it took from people's computers, reports The Local, an English-language German news outlet.
No one from the German government has commented on the report, but antivirus companies are reacting to them. Security firm F-Secure will detect and disable the alleged government monitoring software if found on clients' computers.