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6 massive issues we nonetheless do not know within the bombshell report of how Jeff Bezos’ telephone was hacked by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

  • On Tuesday, the Guardianreported a world investigation had concluded that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ telephone was hacked through a hyperlink in a Might 2018 WhatsApp message from Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (referred to as MBS within the West).
  • Cybersecurity consultants employed by Jeff Bezos to research the leaks after particulars of an affair have been leaked to the media additionally reported comparable findings, the Financial Times reported.
  • The hacking fills in a lacking chunk in a timeline that hyperlinks the homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote for the Bezos-owned Washington Put up, and Jeff Bezoshimself, who introduced in January 2019 that he was getting divorced.
  • However many points nonetheless stay unresolved.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Guardian revealed a bombshell report on Tuesday: That Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ telephone was hacked by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

According to the report, a WhatsApp message that Bezos obtained from bin Salman’s telephone quantity in Might 2019 is believed to have included a “malicious file” that compromised the Amazon CEO’s telephone. Bezos and the crown prince had beforehand exchanged a number of pleasant messages on WhatsApp, in accordance with the report. However inside hours of receiving a video file in Might, Bezos’ telephone started to surreptitiously transmit giant quantities of information.

Months later, Saudi Arabia was accused of the brutal homicide of Jamal Khashoggi, a high-profile Saudi critic and columnist for the Washington Put up, which is owned by Bezos.

And in January 2019, Bezos’ affair with TV anchor Lauren Sanchez was reported by the Nationwide Enquirer, and intimate selfies and textual content messages that Bezos had despatched Sanchez have been leaked.

The report of the hacking by the Saudi Kingdom’s crown prince would appear to fill in quite a lot of the lacking items to this puzzle of intrigue and deception. However there are nonetheless quite a lot of issues we do not know. Listed here are a few of the high unanswered questions:

What Information From Bezos’ Telephone Was Accessed Within The Hack?

The character of the info taken from Bezos’ telephone stays unknown to the UN investigators wanting into the hacking, in accordance with the Guardian’s report.A subsequent report from the Financial Timesciting sources from Bezos’s personal investigation into the matter means that the breach was substantial, permitting hackers to entry “dozens of gigabytes.”

Is Saudi Arabia Behind The Leaks Of Bezos’ Intimate Selfies To His Lover?

Whether or not the Amazon CEO’s personal images and texts have been leaked to the Nationwide Enquirer from the Saudi Arabian authorities has but to be decided by worldwide investigators, the Guardian reported.

However there have been speculations {that a} international authorities was concerned within the leaks. A Mediumsubmit revealed by Jeff Bezos in February 2019 accused the Nationwide Enquirer’s mum or dad firm AMI and AMI CEO David Pecker of “extortion and blackmail,” until he stopped referring to the leaks as politically motivated. Bezos additionally hinted at ties between the media group and the Saudi Arabian authorities. And Amazon safety marketing consultant Gavin de Becker penned a private account in the Daily Beastthat concluded that the Saudi authorities had hacked Bezos’ telephone and gained entry to his personal info effectively earlier than the Enquirer story was launched.

What Was Within The Video File That MBS Despatched Bezos?

Probably some form of malware, however we do not know for certain but. The Guardian reported {that a} digital forensics evaluation discovered it “extremely possible” that Bezos’ telephone was breached after he clicked on an “contaminated” video file despatched to him from MBS’ WhatsApp account. Nevertheless, we do not know what precisely the file was contaminated with — and subsequently, what sort of data it might need been able to accessing.

Did Bin Salman Himself Ship The Compromising Textual Content?

It is unclear. Whereas The Guardian’s report stated the video was despatched from bin Salman’s private WhatsApp account, that does not undoubtedly show that the crown prince himself despatched the video. Bin Salman may have licensed another person to ship the video on his behalf. Alternatively, an unauthorized third-party may have surreptitiously accessed his account and despatched the malware, although there are not any indications to this point suggesting that somebody efficiently hacked bin Salman with a purpose to hack Bezos’ telephone.

Was Israeli Cybersecurity Agency NSO Group Accountable?

We do not know but. However the Israeli cybersecurity agency, NSO Group has a historical past of promoting software program that hacks telephones utilizing WhatsApp. Crucially, the corporate has been linked to Saudi Arabia’s alleged assassination of the Washington Put up journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A lawsuit filed by the Montreal-based Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz accused NSOof serving to Saudi Arabia’s authorities spy on his communications with the murdered Washington Put up journalist Jamal Khashoggi again in December 2018. NSO denied all allegations that its software program helped result in Khashoggi’s dying, the Associated Press reported.

Virtually a yr later, WhatsApp mum or dad firm Fb sued the Israeli group. NSO Group had exploited vulnerabilities in WhatsApp’s video-calling system to ship malware to the units of over 1,400 customers, to permit governments and intelligence organizations to spy on them, Fb alleged in October 2019.

Who Else Has Accused MBS Of Hacking?

Bezos and MBS exchanged numbers throughout the crown prince’s go to to america in April 2018, apparently throughout a visit the place the Saudi crown prince met with several prominent tech executives and investors, together with Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai (who was operating Google on the time), and investor Peter Thiel.

Whereas there is no such thing as a proof of different hacking makes an attempt carried out towards these tech executives, there are a number of stories of hacking makes an attempt carried out Saudi Arabia’s dissenters across the similar time Bezos’ telephone reportedly started transmitting information, together with Abdulaziz, the Monetary Instances reported.

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