Feeds

Vodafone fined €76m over Greek wiretap scandal

Trojan horse

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Greece's privacy watchdog has fined Vodafone €76m ($100m) over a wiretapping scandal that saw the illegal monitoring of the mobile calls of top government officials including Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

Vodafone was ruled at fault for not preventing unknown hackers from subverting a legitimate surveillance system, supplied by Swedish firm Ericsson, to spy on Greek officials around the time of the 2004 Athens Olympics. The mobile operator said that the investigation was incomplete because officials were yet to question Ericsson. It plans to appeal the ruling.

"Vodafone announced that it fully rejects the rationale of the authority and considers the penalty illegal, unfair and totally groundless," Vodafone Greece said in a statement, AP reports. "Vodafone will seek recourse with the judiciary against the decision and is certain it will be overturned."

Investigators failed to determine who was behind phone taps targeting more than 100 Vodafone users including government ministers, military officials and journalists between around June 2004 until March 2005, when Vodafone dismantled the systems after the security breach was uncovered. Calls from and to targeted phones were relayed to 16 mobile phones using pre-paid cards, located in central Athens, thanks to unauthorised manipulation of the Ericsson-supplied surveillance software used by Vodafone Greece.

The Hellenic Authority for the Information and Communication Security and Privacy criticised Vodafone for obstructing its investigation by failing to own up about the surveillance system itself.

Greece's parliament has also launched a separate investigation into the wiretapping scandal. During a hearing earlier this year, the heads of the Greek arms of Vodafone and Ericsson pointed the finger of blame for the scandal at each other, AP adds. The parliamentary probe also looked into the death of a senior Greek Vodafone official, George Tsalikidis, who was found hanged in March, just before Vodafone briefed government officials about the role of the surveillance system in the scandal. A judicial investigation failed to uncover any link between the suspected suicide and the scandal, the FT adds. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.