Jeff Bezos’ phone hacked

As reported by The Guardian, Jeff Bezos had his mobile phone “hacked” in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. The encrypted message from the number used by Mohammed bin Salman is believed to have included a malicious file that infiltrated the phone of the world’s richest man, according to the results of a digital forensic analysis. Large amounts of data were exfiltrated from Bezos’s phone within hours, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Jake Moore, Cybersecurity Specialist at ESET:

“This has all the hallmarks of the Pegasus spyware, which is a very sophisticated malware. When run on a device you will likely have no idea of what has just happened. Engineering a file to look like a photo or video that has come from a contact is the perfect way of executing the malware, so no doubt Bezos was unaware what had just occurred. 


This particular spyware is used on highly targeted individuals and so people of high value or wealth need to be extremely cautious of such tactics used. Bezos may well have innocently clicked on the file in the message, but extreme caution should always be adhered to whenever something is received. Although difficult to reduce the risk, anyone who is a possible target, including people in the media and politicians, should always be aware of the risks.  


Groups such as the NSO are very capable of carrying out vulnerability checks on operating systems and are always out to exploit and weaknesses found before they are patched.”



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