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

Surveillance technologies are a double-edged sword, one that often lack a hilt guard.

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.

That was bad, but it got worse. The hackers got into the servers for the “Patras” program, which logs location data on suspected criminals through cell phone and car GPS systems. Concerned about security breaches, the government eventually had to take the entire set of Patras servers offline.