[funsec] Greek Wiretapping Scandal: The Athens Affair
fergdawg at netzero.net
Tue Jul 10 23:10:50 CDT 2007
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Via IEEE Spectrum.
On 9 March 2005, a 38-year-old Greek electrical engineer named Costas
Tsalikidis was found hanged in his Athens loft apartment, an apparent
suicide. It would prove to be merely the first public news of a scandal
that would roil Greece for months.
The next day, the prime minister of Greece was told that his cellphone was
being bugged, as were those of the mayor of Athens and at least 100 other
high-ranking dignitaries, including an employee of the U.S. embassy.
The victims were customers of Athens-based Vodafone-Panafon, generally
known as Vodafone Greece, the country's largest cellular service provider;
Tsalikidis was in charge of network planning at the company. A connection
seemed obvious. Given the list of people and their positions at the time of
the tapping, we can only imagine the sensitive political and diplomatic
discussions, high-stakes business deals, or even marital indiscretions that
may have been routinely overheard and, quite possibly, recorded.
Even before Tsalikidis's death, investigators had found rogue software
installed on the Vodafone Greece phone network by parties unknown. Some
extraordinarily knowledgeable people either penetrated the network from
outside or subverted it from within, aided by an agent or mole. In either
case, the software at the heart of the phone system, investigators later
discovered, was reprogrammed with a finesse and sophistication rarely seen
before or since.
- - ferg
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: PGP Desktop 9.6.2 (Build 2014)
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
"Fergie", a.k.a. Paul Ferguson
Engineering Architecture for the Internet
ferg's tech blog: http://fergdawg.blogspot.com/
More information about the funsec