The German government, in violation of the German constitution, has developed (or bought) malware that they have actively deployed against German citizens.

From Op-Ed: Bundestrojan — German ‘official’ Trojan can get into email, Skype.

Sydney – Well, if you want to read about Western government-sponsored Trojans, read Xinhua. Notably not showing up on the radar of other tech sites I’ve seen recently, the German Bundestrojan is considered dangerous- by hackers.

According to Xinhua:

The software that is supposed to be a “lawful interception” program designed to monitor Internet-based phone calls as part of a legal wiretap goes far beyond the legal bounds, according to the Chaos Computer Club, a Germany-based hacker group.

“We got our hands on it and found it is doing much more than it is legally allowed to do,” said Frank Rieger, a member of the club.

Germany allowed the use of the backdoor program Bundestrojan, which permits government investigators to listen in on Skype-based phone calls. Since 2008, Bundestrojan has been ruled legal by Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court as long as it screened only very specific communications — Internet telephone calls.

The hackers sent the virus to an internet security firm in Finland and found that Bundestrojan could conduct key logging, activate cameras and send information to government agencies. It can run on 64 bit systems, and could infect:

The list of targeted applications includes major browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera, as well programs with VoIP and data encryption functionality, including ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Skype, Low-Rate VoIP, CounterPath X-Lite and Paltalk.

This, of course, isn’t the whole story, or anything like it. As you will have noticed, this is a very broad-based Trojan, and it has another ramification- It can be copied, modified and expanded. The Chaos Club didn’t have any trouble getting their hands on it, so it’s reasonable to assume that others would find it equally easy.

via Op-Ed: Bundestrojan — German ‘official’ Trojan can get into email, Skype.