ATHENS – Nikos Androulakis, President of PASOK/KINAL, Greece’s third-largest political party and a member of the European Parliament, “filed a complaint with the country’s top court prosecutors on Tuesday over an attempted bugging of his mobile phone with surveillance software,” according to Reuters.
The EU, like the United States, “is taking a harder look at spyware merchants and the use of powerful surveillance software,” Reuters noted.
Androulakis learned about the bugging attempt from a cyber security service working with the Greek parliament.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Androulakis told journalists that “there was an attempt to bug my mobile phone with the Predator surveillance malware … The revelation of those hiding behind such sick practices … is not a personal issue but my democratic duty.”
Predator is made in Israel, and Reuters reported that, “Intellexa, which sells Predator in Greece, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment,”
Reuters noted that, “in April this year a Greek prosecutor began an investigation into an allegation by a journalist that his smartphone had been infected by surveillance software in an operation by the country’s intelligence service.”
Reuters cited a report by Toronto University’s Citizen Lab, which tracks the spyware industry, and reported that “a message in September last year invited Androulakis to click on a link that was a bait to allow the installation of Predator. Androulakis did not respond to the invitation and so averted the bugging. PASOK party officials say it was a serious attempt to violate the privacy of telecommunications.”
A PASOK official said, “those who are after Mr. Androulakis sought not only to listen in on his calls and messages but to turn his phone into a continuous surveillance device”
The availability of this disturbing technology poses threats to the general public. Reuters writes that, “Predator spyware can extract passwords, files, photos and contacts and activate a phone’s camera and microphone, enabling surveillance of conversations nearby, party officials said.”
Material from Reuters and the Jerusalem Post was used in this article.