Tech by VICE

A Private Spy Was Caught Using a Hacking Tool to Target Their Crush

Brings back memories of the NSA agents who did the same thing.

by Ben Makuch
Apr 30 2020, 12:00pm

Back in 2013, between the many revelations on mass surveillance abuses by the NSA coming from the trove of Snowden leaks, Americans also learned agents at the signals intelligence agency were snooping on their love interests. Dubbed LOVEINT (a play on ‘Love-Intelligence,’ apparently), a number of agents around the world were caught spying on their love interests using the godlike spy tools of the NSA.

Now an employee from an infamous surveillance company was caught trying to do the exact same. According to four sources, a former employee of NSO Group—the surveillance firm out of Israel whose hacking technology was reportedly used on the phones of associates of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi—was caught using the company’s hacking tool to target a love interest.

While the controversial company did immediately fire the employee, it's yet another example of how powerful surveillance tools are still being abused by the very people entrusted with wielding them. Motherboard reporter Joseph Cox is on this week’s CYBER to discuss the story.

Tagged:
spying
Hacking
nsa
hackers
Hacking Team
spies
NSO Group