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Noted Italian Security Expert Arrested in Ongoing Spy Scandal

Some fairly surprising news recently came to light when it was reported that Domina Security, Zone-h and WabiSabiLabi cofounder, Roberto Preatoni, was arrested and charged in connection with claims of spying at Telecom Italia.

It was Roberto's work with a penetration testing team, a 'Tiger Team' that had been created to do some testing for Telecom Italia, that is believed to have led to the arrest rather than his involvement with the controversial WabiSabiLabi vulnerability auction market.

The team that Roberto worked with apparently had some shady history, including allegations of spying, unauthorised hacking, wiretaps, and it may just be a case of 'wrong place, wrong time' for the security expert who has been charged with unauthorised access to computer systems and wiretapping. It is reported that hacking and spying activities were carried out against Brasil Telecom's CEO, an investigative agency, and two journalists.

Others have been arrested earlier in the year, including Telecom Italia's Security Chief Technology Officer, who has presented alongside Preatoni at security conferences over the last twelve months. These presentations included one that might be considered ironic - "The Biggest Brother", presented at the 2006 Hack in the Box conference, which argued that many governments have taken advantage of September 11 to tighten control over their citizens. A previous presentation by Roberto, given at 2005's CCC, regarding industrial espionage and counter attacks might be of more interest to investigators.

WabiSabiLabi has yet to issue a statement regarding the incident, though one is expected soon.

8 November 2007

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