July 12, 2007

Greek spying case uncovers first phone switch rootkit

A highly sophisticated spying operation that tapped into the mobile phones of Greece's prime minister and other top government officials has highlighted weaknesses in telecommunications systems that still use decades-old computer code, according to a report by two computer scientists. Infoworld reports.

"The spying case, where the calls of around 100 people were secretly tapped, remains unsolved and is still being investigated. Also complicating the case is the questionable suicide in March 2005 of a top engineer at Vodafone Group in Greece in charge of network planning.

A look into how the hack was accomplished has revealed an operation of breathtaking depth and success... The case includes the "first known rootkit that has been installed in an [phone] exchange," said Diomidis Spinellis, an associate professor at the Athens University of Economics and Business."

Related articles:

-- Vodafone risks massive fine in Greek scandal

-- Greek boss at phone-tapping probe

-- Mobile phone-tapping plot uncovered in Greece

-- Furor continues over unprecedented mobile phone-tapping case

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