A year ago, the National Enquirer published an exposé of an affair between Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez. At the time, Bezos suggested that the Saudi government had played a role in leaking his text messages to the tabloid, and he had retained a security expert to investigate. This week, the forensic report was made public, and Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman was implicated. The suggestion seems to be that MBS sent Bezos an infected video file over WhatsApp, which compromised the phone. But many observers are unsatisfied with the report and skeptical of its findings.
Regardless of whether the WhatsApp messages are to blame, “the biggest takeaway from this,” writes Sheera Frenkel of the New York Times, “is that anyone, anywhere, can be hacked if the person carrying out the attack has enough time, money and patience.”
- UN calls for investigation after Saudis linked to Bezos phone hack [TechCrunch] “Remarks made by U.N. human rights experts on Wednesday said mobile spyware was likely used to exfiltrate gigabytes of data from Bezos’ phone in May 2018, about six months after the Saudi government first obtained the spyware.”
- Here Is the Technical Report Suggesting Saudi Arabia’s Prince Hacked Jeff Bezos’ Phone [Motherboard] “Investigators spent two days poring over the device but were unable to find any malware on it. Instead, they only found a suspicious video file sent to Bezos on May 1, 2018 that ‘appears to be an Arabic language promotional film about telecommunications.'”
- How Jeff Bezos’ iPhone X Was Hacked [New York Times] “The Saudi Embassy in Washington has said that accusations that the kingdom was involved in hacking Mr. Bezos’ phone were ‘absurd.'”
- The big questions from FTI’s report on the Jeff Bezos hack [CyberScoop] “The company’s cybersecurity team is led by people who have been responsible for the protection of U.S. government entities at the highest levels, including the FBI and the White House. Its credentials aren’t in question. The report, though, left several things unanswered.”
From the Ohio Web Library:
- Fleishman, Glenn. “How to Improve Your Security with WhatsApp.” Macworld – Digital Edition, Mar. 2017, p. 103.
- Day, Matt, et al. “Amazon CEO Bezos Accuses National Enquirer of Blackmail.” Bloomberg.Com, Feb. 2019.
- Cole, Juan. “Did the Same Saudi Hackers Who Trapped Khashoggi Target Amazon’s Bezos for Nude Photos?” Progressive Populist, vol. 25, no. 8, May 2019, p. 17