For at least ten weeks, strangers could hear and see everything on the mobile phone of Thanasis Koukakis, whose revealing reports have been published in international media such as the Financial Times and CNBC.
The journalist was informed of the breach of his communications privacy and the hacking of his cell phone on March 28, 2022, when he received an official response from the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab after a request. The Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary laboratory that focuses its research at the intersection of information and communication technologies, human rights and global security, has a core research goal of identifying digital threats against members of civil society, as well as monitoring the proliferation of the mercenary spyware industry. Prior to the hacking of Koukakis' phone, it had detected the hacking - with the same or other software - of dozens of mobile phones of journalists, activists and politicians, by, among others, the Saudi Prince Bin Salman and the government of Hungary, which eventually admitted to using the phone hacking software, as did the German government.
Such software was used to infect the mobile phone of Thanasis Koukakis.