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CRIME

Slovak among victims of Vienna fire

Police have identified one of the victims found in the burnt out premises of an empty building in Favoriten, Vienna on Friday.

Slovak among victims of Vienna fire
Photo: MA 68 Lichtbildstelle

The man was a Slovakian whose fingerprints were held on a police database as he had a criminal record. “We know he was a Slovak citizen but we are still looking into his background,” police spokesman Paul Eidenberger told Radio Wien.

The identities of the other four victims are still not known. They were between 17 and 35 years old, and one was a woman.

It’s also not clear what caused the fire in the former bar and restaurant, although police have said that there was no evidence of foul play. An old solid fuel burner was found in the ruins of building.

Police had previously speculated that the bodies might be those of homeless people who had been sheltering in the building.

CRIME

Austria probes claim spyware targeted law firms and banks

Austria said Friday that it was investigating a report that an Austrian company developed spyware targeting law firms, banks and consultancies in at least three countries.

Austria probes claim spyware targeted law firms and banks

Microsoft’s security team earlier this week said it found that a malware called Subzero — developed by Vienna-based company DSIRF — was deployed in 2021 and 2022.

“Observed victims to date include law firms, banks and strategic consultancies in countries such as Austria, the United Kingdom and Panama,” it wrote in a blog entry on Wednesday.

Austria’s interior ministry said it had not received reports of any incidents.

READ ALSO: Austria wary of cyber attacks after personal data of foreign residents leaked online

“Of course, (intelligence agency) DSN checks the allegations. So far, there is no proof of the use of spy software from the company mentioned,” it said in a statement.

Austria’s Kurier newspaper cited DSIRF as saying that Subzero had not been misused and “was developed exclusively for use by authorities in EU states” and was not commercially available.

DSIRF did not immediately return a request for comment from AFP.

Austria’s interior ministry said it knew of the company but “has not had any business relationships” with it.

Last year several media outlets reported that governments around the world, including in the EU, had used Pegasus spyware made by Israel’s NSO Group to spy on opponents.

Budapest and Warsaw responded that the use of Pegasus was for legitimate national security reasons.

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