The NSA, GCHQ, and their allies in the Five Eyes are not the only government agencies using malware for surveillance. French intelligence is almost certainly hacking its targets too—and now security researchers believe they have proof.
On Wednesday, the researchers will reveal new details about a powerful piece of malware known as “Babar,” which is capable of eavesdropping on online conversations held via Skype, MSN and Yahoo messenger, as well as logging keystrokes and monitoring which websites an infected user has visited.
Babar is “a fully blown espionage tool, built to excessively spy” on its victims, according to the research, and which Motherboard reviewed in advance. The researchers are publishing two separate but complementary reports that analyze samples of the malware, and all but confirm that France’s spying agency the General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) was responsible for its creation.
France’s Defense Ministry did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.