Meta's security manager targeted by Greek espionage
A former Meta employee was reportedly hacked and wiretapped by the Greek intelligence agency.
According to a report from The New York Times, the Greek intelligence agency hacked and wiretapped Artemis Seaford, former security policy manager at Meta. The Greek government agency used the sophisticated spyware known as "Predator" and tracked Searford for a year. Seaford worked for Meta between 2020 and 2022.
1/ The evidence suggests that my hacking with Predator was based on private information most likely obtained through state intelligence wiretapping. https://t.co/RAq0ydlFr1
— Artemis Seaford (@ArtemisSeaford) March 20, 2023
Artemis Seaford's phone was bugged in September 2021 after she scheduled an appointment to get the next COVID booster through the Greek government's web portal. Several hours after making the appointment, she received a text message including a confirmation link, says Times, and then her phone got infected without even knowing. Seaford realized that she might have been hacked after seeing her on a list of spyware targets in November 2022.
“The details for the vaccination appointment in the infected text message were correct, indicating that someone had reviewed the authentic earlier confirmation and drafted the infected message accordingly. The sender also appeared to be the state vaccine agency, while the infected URL mimicked that of the vaccination platform," the Times says.
After seeing her name on the list, she took her phone to Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the University of Toronto. The lab confirmed that her phone was indeed hacked in September 2021 for "at least two months."
What is Predator?
Predator was developed by a cyber company called "Cytrox." The company is said to be based in North Macedonia and know for selling commercial spyware and different surveillance tools. Predator can monitor text messages, calls, photos, and videos on the device it infects. In order for it to infect a device, the victim must click a link that includes the spyware.
Apart from Predator, Seaford had also been wiretapped by the government back in August 2021, one month prior to the infection of her phone. “The evidence suggests that my hacking with Predator was based on private information most likely obtained through state intelligence wiretapping,” she tweeted.
It is still unclear why Seaford was the target of the Greek intelligence agency. “In my case, I do not know why I was targeted, but I cannot see any reasonable national security concerns behind it,” she told the Times.Advertisement