Facebook Points Blame at Smartphone Vulnerabilities in Bezos Hacking

Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Prince Mohammed bin Salman

It is unclear if the hack is related to the reporting.

The UN special rapporteurs, Agnes Callamard and David Kaye, said that they had information pointing to the "possible involvement" of Salman in the alleged 2018 cyberattack, which preceded alleged threats by the National Enquirer to publish intimate photographs of the billionaire tech tycoon.

Khashoggi, a journalist heavily critical of Riyadh's dictatorial schemes, worked with The Washington Post, that Bezos owns. The iPhone hack was allegedly meant to provide the crown prince with enough material to pressure Bezos to drop the investigation.

This week, those allegations were back in the public eye, but this time with one additional piece of information: that forensic experts believe it was a video shared from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's WhatsApp account that unleashed the hack - and now with United Nations rapporteurs involved.

The report stated that Bezos' phone was compromised "possibly via tools procured by Saud al-Qahtani", the former adviser to the crown prince who was sanctioned by the USA for his suspected role in orchestrating the operation that killed Khashoggi. It is an image of a woman resembling the woman with whom Bezos is having an affair, months before the Bezos affair was known publicly.

What happened to Bezos's phone?

They also found it suspicious that in February 2019, after more than three months during which the pair did not speak, Bezos received an unsolicited WhatsApp message from the prince within hours of receiving a briefing from someone about an online campaign by Saudi Arabia against him.

The outflow of data increased by 29,000 percent after that incident, according to the report. The amount of data leaving the phone increased enormously and continued undetected for several months.

According to the letter, Almasarir's phones were examined by independent experts at Citizen Lab, which tracks the use of cyberweapons and allegedly confirmed that the satirist had been sent malicious texts that were "associated" with spyware.

Just three shots on target from Barcelona's 718 passes
Perhaps Ibiza ran out of steam because their pressing lost some intensity in the second half. Barca responded with patience and passing in the hope of exerting some control.

The forensic analysis assessed that the intrusion likely was undertaken through the use of a prominent spyware product identified in other Saudi surveillance cases, such as the NSO Group's Pegasus-3 malware, a product widely reported to have been purchased and deployed by Saudi officials.

Ms. Callamard and Mr. Kaye "expect to continue investigating the murder of Mr. Khashoggi and the growing role of surveillance in permitting the unaccountable use of spyware to intimidate journalists, human rights defenders and owners of media outlets", concluded the statement released by the United Nations human rights office, OHCHR. In this case, Bezos received the infected message from a number he trusted, one he knew belonged to bin Salman.

The program is even capable of getting around encrypted messaging services, such as WhatsApp. It also allows its operator the ability to remotely operate a device's camera and microphone, enabling remote eavesdropping on conversations, as well as passive or active tracking of a target's location data.

'This text evinces an awareness of what Bezos had just been told'.

A report from the National Enquirer brought to light past year an extramarital affair Bezos was having with a television anchor using in part Bezos' photos and texts.

The tabloid's story set off what The Guardian's sources described as a "race" by the Amazon CEO's security team to figure out how his phone got hacked. He is believed to have been assassinated on a visit to the Saudi embassy in Turkey on October 2 2018.

A forensic analysis by technical experts retained by Bezos after a leak of his personal information in early 2019 suggested that the Bezos iPhone was compromised by "tools" procured by a close associate of the Saudi de facto ruler.

"The allegations that we have released today are one more element demonstrating the centrality of the state of Saudi Arabia, the centrality of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, in the campaign [against dissidents]", she said.

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