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Raphael Satter, Associated Press
Morgan Marquis-Boire, a senior security researcher and technical adviser with University of Toronto-based Citizen Lab, speaks during a “cyber self-defense course” hosted by Russian antivirus firm Kaspersky at an event in east London on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

LONDON — Two computer security groups say law enforcement agencies are taking a page out of the cybercriminal handbook, using targets' own phones and computers to spy on them with methods traditionally associated with the world's most malicious hackers.

The reports about the Italian firm Hacking Team expose a global network of malicious software implants operated by police and spy agencies in dozens of countries.

The reports Tuesday help complete the picture of state-sanctioned surveillance sketched by Edward Snowden's revelations about the National Security Agency and its international allies.

While Snowden's revelations dealt with the mass monitoring of communication, Hacking Team brags about more aggressive forms of monitoring that let authorities turn people's phones and laptops into eavesdropping tools.

Hacking Team did not return several messages seeking comment.