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How Jeff Bezos’ iPhone X Was Hacked

How Jeff Bezos’ iPhone X Was Hacked

The report’s conclusions renew questions concerning the shadowy world of personal hackers for rent. For the fitting consumer, or the fitting sum, such hackers apparently infiltrated the cellphone of one of many world’s wealthiest and strongest males. The report didn’t say which non-public cybersecurity firm was used, however advised that the Tel Aviv-based NSO Group and Milan-based Hacking Team had the capabilities for such an assault.

ImageSome of the texts that Mr. Bezos exchanged with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, on WhatsApp.
Credit…through FTI

The hack additionally uncovered how widespread messaging platforms like WhatsApp have vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit. In October, WhatsApp sued the NSO Group in federal courtroom, claiming that NSO’s spy know-how was used on its service to focus on journalists and human rights activists. WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, has patched the flaw that the malware used.

“This case really highlights the threats that are posed by a lawless and unaccountable private surveillance industry,” mentioned David Kaye, the United Nations particular rapporteur who was a co-author of Wednesday’s assertion. “The companies who are creating these tools are extremely crafty and aggressive, and it’s a cat-and-mouse game at this point.”

NSO mentioned it was not concerned in any hack of Mr. Bezos’ cellphone. Hacking Team didn’t reply to a request for remark. WhatsApp declined to remark, as did FTI Consulting, the corporate that Mr. Bezos’ safety group employed to look at his cellphone and that wrote the forensic evaluation. Amazon declined to touch upon behalf of Mr. Bezos.

Malware that was created for the express function of prying into non-public on-line communications, also referred to as spy ware, has turn out to be a $1 billion trade. While firms just like the NSO Group and Hacking Team have been accused of deploying their spy ware with governments to observe dissidents and others, smaller firms additionally promote less complicated variations of the software program for as little as $10, permitting individuals to listen in on their spouses or kids.

Ron Deibert, the director of Citizen Lab on the University of Toronto, which was not concerned within the Bezos investigation, mentioned the Amazon chief’s state of affairs was “a reminder that the proliferation of commercial spyware is a global security problem for all sectors, from government and businesses to civil society.”

Over the years that he has run Amazon, Mr. Bezos has largely stored non-public. That modified when The National Enquirer revealed images and messages final yr between him and Ms. Sanchez, a TV anchor. Mr. Bezos and his spouse, MacKenzie Bezos, later received a divorce.

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