Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hacked Jeff Bezos's iPhone X


Amazon is the name that comes to mind when anyone hears about Jeff Bezos, but it was until 2018. November 8, 2018, was the fateful day when Jeff Bezos became the man whose iPhone X was hacked by the prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Bin Salman. They both exchanged their personal number a few months back in April at a dinner get together in Los Angeles, but hardly exchanged texts.

In November, Bezos received a video of a lookalike of Lauren Sanchez, ex-flame of the CEO, and a taunting remark accompanied. But, this wasn’t it, the reports suggest that it was a malware that hacked Jeff Bezos's, iPhone X. It is believed that the attack was made because The Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos, carried critical articles about Saudi Arabia.

The UN started investigating the attack, and the forensic analysis and FTI consulting indicate the engagement of Saudi Prince in the hacking.

David Kaye and Agnes Callamard, United Nations special rapporteurs, said that “This reported surveillance of Mr. Bezos, allegedly through software developed and marketed by a private company and transferred to a government without judicial control of its use, is, if true, a concrete example of the harms that result from the unconstrained marketing, sale, and use of spyware.,” 

Dave Aitel, the former NS Analyst, stated that "It sounds like whatever implant they had self-destructed."

The UN reports suggest that after the video was sent to Bezos, the Saudi regime started exfiltrating a large amount of data from the iPhone. Where on average, 430 kilobytes of data came from the Bezos’ s per day; there was an exponential increase of data to 101megabytes for months after the hacking took place.

The Saudi embassy denied the allegations on Twitter, “Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind the hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos' phone are absurd. We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out.”

 

The UN reports suggest that attack could be from Pegasus malware from the NSO Group. The report further claims that Saudi Arabia purchased Pegasus in 2017. Pegasus can extract any amount of information by breaching the security of iOS and access any data.

On the other hand, the NSO Group said they have nothing to do with the attack, and their technology has not been used. They clearly said, “As we stated unequivocally in April 2019 to the same false assertion, our technology was not used in this instance," the firm said. "Our technology cannot be used on US phone numbers. Our products are only used to investigate terror and serious crime. Any suggestion that NSO is involved is defamatory.”

Even though the speculations are high, yet, a final name is to be taken. The incident has let to tight security for US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner as they are in touch with the prince of Saudi Arabia. US President, who is active on consumer-grade Smartphones, has been alarmed by the cyber security of the white house to use the only hardened device. Now only the future will tell whether the cyber attackers have a long list of victims or the attack was only for CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos.