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A hacker wiped one terabyte data from spyware firm server

Retina-X, well-known spyware (PhoneSherif) developing company got hacked (again) by a hacker with good intents for general users (especially kids).

A company selling spyware software to the general users got hacked last year, and the hacker erased their servers resulting in deleting photos taken from the monitored devices. Now, after a year, the very spyware developer has become a victim again – thanks to that same hacker.

So, different types of hackers are available for a different kind of purpose. Some of them hack for money, and some do it for good. And then some hacktivists do it on the substantial grounds of some issues or causes.

In result of a recent hacktivist act, Retina-XStudios got hacked by a vigilante hacker. As he did last year, this time too, hacker deleted the data from company’s cloud server. Now, as a result, a state of distress has emerged among spyware developers.

Retina-X Studios is an US-based firm located in Florida and Jacksonville. The company develops monitoring software and applications for computers and smartphones. Of course, which get used for different purpose like spying on spouse or kids to name a couple.

Retina-X PhoneSherif Hacked
After PhoneSheriff getting hacked for the second time by the same hacker, spyware creators have every right to go into the state of distress.

The very same firm faced a security breach in April 2017, too. And, their software gets used to spy on the end users without their approval – which is against the law.

The Motherboard was first to disclose that Retina-X (yet again) got attacked by the hackers.

This time, the attacker used the ‘precise buffalo’ on Mastodon server – and erased one terabyte of data as a whole. The deleted data contained photos of kids who use Retina-X app PhoneSherrif.

The spyware developer did not confess that they got hacked, though. Why? More likely, to save their reputation.

But the hacker provided shreds of evidence to the motherboard – proving that the Retina-X indeed got hacked.

To double check, Motherboard created an account having installed PhoneSherif and took two photos. The hacker ended up providing very same images along with E-mail address used.

Hacker’s Motive Behind Retina-X PhoneSherif Hack

The hacker had to say a good bit of things, below are some of the points he raised.

First up, hacker’s motivations behind the hack were not to let such data sit online. As you can guess, such data is the primary target for parents.

The hacker further added, apart from the technical bugs – he finds such software category quite disturbing.

Gesturing towards the Snowden’s statement about privacy, he recalled excellent points. Such as, the privacy means everyone should have the freedom to share what they want (or not) with the world. At their very own terms!

He finally stated that he wants to live in a world where our younger generations should have such rights.

Retina-PhoneSherif Hack Pastebin
The hacker published a post on Pastebin as he broke into Retina-X servers, it is the screenshot of his post.

Nevertheless, it is not new for a spyware creator getting hacked.

In recent past, mSpy, a widely used mobile spy software company got hacked. Data of 400,000 users was stolen in that breach and also leaked online.

Another example is Cellebrite which also faced the data breach of 900 GB. As the experts say, Cellebrite hack uncovered in-house hacking capabilities.

The victim (Cellebrite) in this case is itself famous for the hacking of smartphones. So despite being popular for mobile hacking, the Israel based company ended up being hacked – quite fascinating?

Pierluigi Paganini
Cyber Security Analyst; Member, European Union Agency for Network and Information Security Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group; Founder, Security Affairs Blog. Co-author of The Deep Dark Web: The Hidden World.

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