A spy scandal broke out in Greece. Artemis Seaford, a former Meta* manager of security policy, who is a US and Greek citizen, is suing the Greek National Intelligence Service for hacking her smartphone and illegal wiretapping, according to The New York Times.
Seaford worked at Meta* from 2020 to 2022, where she interacted frequently with Greek and other European political figures. After Artemis Seaford saw her name on a leaked list of spyware targets in November 2022, she turned to the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, which is the world’s leading expert in spyware forensics. Citizen Lab confirmed that her smartphone was infected with Predator in September 2021 for “at least two months.”
It is also reported that the Greek intelligence service tapped Seaford’s smartphone for about a year during her stay in Greece. The way the hack was carried out suggests that the Greek intelligence service may also be involved.
In September 2021, Seaford signed up for a Covid-19 booster shot through the Greek government’s official vaccination platform, after which she received an automated SMS with a pick-up time. After 5 hours, she received another SMS with a request to confirm the application by clicking on the link. It was an infected link, after clicking on which Predator got into Seaford’s smartphone. The details of the upcoming vaccination in the infected text message were correct, indicating that someone was familiar with the actual appointment confirmation and prepared the infected message accordingly. The sender also appeared to be a government vaccination agency, and the infected URL mimicked the URL of a vaccination platform.
In turn, the Greek government denies any involvement in the tapping and hacking of Seaford’s smartphone. “The Greek authorities and security services have never purchased or used the Predator tracking software. It is wrong to assume otherwise,” said government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou. He added that an investigation was under way into the alleged use of spyware by non-governmental organizations.
The case was the first known case of a US citizen being the victim of surveillance in an EU country.
* Included in the list of public associations and religious organizations in respect of which the court made a final decision to liquidate or ban activities on the grounds provided for by Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25, 2002 “On countering extremist activity.”
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