Like many malicious programs

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LONDON Researchers have identified a new group of smaller, poorer nations as users of spy software, suggesting that a recent series of leaks and lawsuits hasn’t deterred governments from investing in off the shelf cyberespionage products.

Internet watchdog group Citizen Lab said in a report published Thursday that it had found 33 "likely government users" of FinFisher, one of the world’s best known purveyors of spyware.

"They seem to have a healthy client base,
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FinFisher did not return messages seeking comment on the findings.

Like many malicious programs, FinFisher’s products works by infecting its targets‘ computers and phones, copying messages, recording conversations and even activating webcams. Unlike most malicious programs, those behind FinFisher have business cards and badges.

On its website, the Munich based company says it helps law enforcement and intelligence agencies bring justice to criminals. Among the documents leaked last year was a brochure touting the software’s success in breaking up organized crime and human trafficking rings,
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The spyware doesn’t come cheap. Also leaked last year was a price list suggesting that a suite of FinFisher products including a full set of attack software, booby trapped thumb drives and nearly a dozen different training courses retailed for some 3 million euros ($3.5 million.)

That price tag doesn’t seem to have put off government agencies in Paraguay, Kenya,
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In Bangladesh,
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Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Forces Intelligence did not return messages seeking comment. Kenyan officials also didn’t immediately return messages. Cpt. Amilcar Vera, the spokesman for Paraguay’s anti terror and anti drugs task force, said he could neither confirm nor deny his country’s use of FinFisher. In Macedonia, Interior Ministry spokesman Ivo Kotevski said the brand of spyware used by his country’s spies was "classified information."

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