Top German cop uses spyware on daughter, gets hacked in retaliation


Nate Anderson

Trojans—they're not just for hackers anymore. German police, for instance, love them; a scandal erupted in Parliament last year after federal investigators were found to be using custom spyware that could potentially record far more information than allowed by law. The story made headlines, but it lacked a certain sense of the bizarre.

Fortunately for connoisseurs of the weird, Der Spiegel revealed a stranger story in its magazine yesterday. According to the report, a top German security official installed a trojan on his own daughter's computer to monitor her Internet usage. What could possibly go wrong?

Nothing—well, at least until one of the daughter's friends found the installed spyware. The friend then went after the dad's personal computer as a payback and managed to get in, where he found a cache of security-related e-mails from work. The e-mails, in turn, provided the information necessary for hackers to infiltrate Germany's federal police.

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