A Greek citizen and American citizen who worked as Meta's Facebook cybersecurity manager while in Greece was subjected to a year-long surveillance by the Greek National Intelligence Service (NIS) through hacking by a powerful cyber-espionage tool, according to documents obtained by the New York Times:
The disclosure is the first known case of an American citizen being targeted in a European Union country by advanced spying technology, the use of which has become the subject of a widening scandal in Greece.
It shows that the illegal use of spyware is spreading from authoritarian governments and has begun to infiltrate European democracies, ensnaring even foreign nationals.
The simultaneous wiretapping of the target's phone by the national intelligence service and the way it was breached suggest that the spy agency and whoever planted the Predator spyware were working hand in hand.
The latest case comes to light as elections approach in Greece, which has been rocked by a growing wiretapping and illegal spyware scandal since last year, prompting accusations that the government abused the powers of its spy agency for illegal purposes.
The Predator spyware that infected the device was marketed by an Athens-based company and appears to have been exported from Greece with the government's blessing, in possible violation of European Union law that considers such products to be potential weapons, the New Yorker reported. Times in December.
The Greek government has denied the use of Predator and has legislated against the use of spyware, calling it "illegal".