July 13, 2007

Rootkit hack taps Greek prime minister's phone

In 2005, Greek authorities discovered a plot hatched and executed by unknown sources which allowed the tapping of wireless phones on the Vodaphone network belonging to the country's Prime Minister and other top officials, making it one of the furthest reaching covert infiltrations of a government in history. A recent report from IEEE Spectrum shows that the tap was made possible by a 6,500 line piece of code called a rootkit, the first-ever to be embedded in a phone switch's OS. The complex hack took advantage of aging phone systems by disabling transaction logs on calls and allowing call monitoring on four switches within the teleco's computers, thus sending the call to another phone for monitoring (similar to a legal wiretap).

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