Germany Is Interviewing Developers for New Surveillance Tool
The German Custom Investigation Bureau is looking for two developers proficient in “modern telecommunications network surveillance” for what appears to be a new version of a state-sponsored spyware tool.
For the project-based job, limited to a two-year period, the perfect candidate needs at least three years of experience in IT and telecom fields, practical involvement in software modeling and “technical knowledge in IT security architecture and solutions” with Linux, Windows and OSX – basically every major OS out there – of particular interest to the German authorities.
This is not the first time Germany is taking a shot at building a cyber-espionage tool for monitoring purposes, but – if the announcement has it right- it’s definitely the first time it tries to homebrew its particular strain of spyware.
The old spyware Trojan, outsourced to a German software company, used to help federal police in criminal investigations created public controversy and eventually lead to Germany suspending it in 2011. Berlin, however, didn’t give up the idea and soon began looking into a new resource of the same sort for its future criminal investigations. But this time the tool had to be created in-house.
This practice leads to a disagreement among security specialists and politicians alike. While Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich states that the State Trojan should be developed internally by the federal government itself, Germany’s justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is concerned such software stored on government computers is a sitting duck for hackers. The minister fears that an unauthorized party could make use of the Trojans the agents have installed for investigations to log onto a government computer, access the data for illegal purposes or silently alter it to compromise investigations.