Artemis Seaford, former security policy manager at Meta, had been under surveillance by the Greek national intelligence service for an entire year using commercially available spyware known as “Predator,” as shared by The New York Times.
According to the publication, Seaford’s phone was bugged in September 2021. Seaford, who holds both Greek and US citizenship, is reportedly the first known American citizen to be targeted by the commercially available spyware. She discovered that she had been spied on after her name appeared on a leaked list of spyware targets in the Greek news media in November 2022. Between getting infected and realizing that her phone had been bugged, Seaford was secretly under surveillance by the Greek national intelligence service.
Seaford eventually took her phone to Citizen Lab, a digital research unit with the University of Toronto, which confirmed that her phone had been infected with the malware.
2/ I made a Covid vaccine appointment and immediately got sms confirmation from the state, followed by some helpful nudges to show up by the same official service. Day before the jab, I get a link to confirm my appointment, and boom…I am now infected.
— Artemis Seaford (@ArtemisSeaford) March 20, 2023
It is unclear why Seaford was targeted by the Greek national intelligence service. The Greek government denies that it used spyware to hack and track Seaford. A representative from the government told the New York Times that “the Greek authorities and security services have at no time acquired or used the Predator surveillance software.” It added, “the alleged use of this software by nongovernmental parties is under ongoing judicial investigation.”
Seaford hopes that her story will encourage other victims of spyware abuse to speak out. “I hope is this story will encourage other victims of spyware abuse to speak out. There are more of us out there, and our stories should be neither instrumentalized nor silenced,” tweeted Seaford. “We deserve better. Ultimately, we need our governments and EU bodies to protect us.”
Image credit: Shutterstock
Source: The New York Times