“Greek Watergate”, the office of the Israeli manufacturer of Predator Intellexa raided in Athens.
Published on 18.12.2022
Local media reported that Greek police raided the Athens office of an Israeli company behind the Predator spyware, as investigations into a wiretapping scandal that has rocked the country in recent months continue.
The offices of Intellexa, the spyware company that supplies Predator, were raided on Tuesday evening, along with the offices of five other companies. The homes of company executives were also targeted.
The raids were carried out earlier this year, following revelations that dozens of prominent politicians, journalists and businessmen were being watched in what has been dubbed the “Greek Watergate”, in which the tool of Intellexa cyber espionage was detected in a journalist’s phone and attempted to infiltrate the phone of opposition leader Nikos Androulakis.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis admitted in August that the tapping was carried out by the country’s intelligence services. Mitsotakis attempted to distance himself from the incident, describing it as legal but incorrect.
These operations are part of the government’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the effects of the scandal. Greece passed an intelligence bill last week that bans the sale of spyware. The bill makes selling or possessing spyware a felony punishable by at least two years in prison.
The Predator software is a cheaper alternative to the more well-known Pegasus spyware from NSO Group, also an Israeli company, and it can similarly infiltrate smartphones, steal data and turn them into listening and recording devices.
However, while NSO Group is blacklisted for its role in aiding authoritarian regimes, Intellexa, founded by former Israeli military intelligence general Tal Dilian, is growing in popularity, according to a New York Times investigation. published last week.
“Predator has been used in a dozen other countries since 2021, illustrating the continued demand from governments and the lack of robust international efforts to limit the use of such tools,” according to the Times investigation.
Greece granted Intellexa licenses to export its Predator spyware to Madagascar, and Intellexa presented its spyware to Ukraine, which declined the offer, according to the investigation.