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Jeff Bezos’ iPhone X hacked: Another case of WhatsApp security failure

February 5, 2020

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    • The Washington Post owner and Amazon CEO Jeffery Bezos’ iPhone X was hacked leaving Saudi Arabian leader Mohammed bin Salman as the primary suspect
    • As per the UN report published on 22 Jan 2020, Bezos’ iPhone was hacked reportedly using an ill-famed Spyware named ‘Pegasus’, developed by the NSO Group, an Israel based secretive company
    • Report concludes that hackers had access to Bezos’ phone for months
    • UN report says, NSO Group’s Pegasus-3 malware has been purchased and deployed by Saudi officials in other surveillance cases too
    • Notorious malware let web infiltrators to remotely access anything from the infected device, be it text messages or location data. The worst thing is user cannot find whether his / her device is infected without seeking any professional help

     

  • In April 2018, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Saudi Arabian leader Mohammed bin Salman had exchanged numbers over a dinner in Los Angeles, a month before alleged hack.

    On 1 May 2018, Bezos’ iPhone was infiltrated via a video file sent over WhatsApp by the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    As per UN Report, ‘Within hours of receipt of the MP4 video file from the Crown Prince’s account, massive and (for Bezos’ phone) unprecedented exfiltration of data from the phone began, increasing data egress suddenly by 29,156 per cent to 126 MB.  Data spiking then continued undetected over some months and at rates as much as 106,032,045 per cent (4.6 GB) higher than the pre-video data egress baseline for Mr. Bezos’ phone of 430KB.’

    Saudi officials had targeted Bezos not because of Amazon but for his The Washington Post. As per UN report, uninterrupted writings of Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent columnist at The Washington Post, were raising concerns about the Prince’s rule.

    Later on 2nd Oct 2018, Mr. Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey by the Saudi government officials. Without wasting time, the Post had started investigation and revealed a number of related aspects of the Prince’s rule in Saudi Arabia.

    UN report says, in November 2018 and February 2019, Crown Prince again sent a few WhatsApp messages to Bezos revealing his private and confidential information which was not available publicly.

    However, on Tuesday evening, the Saudi Embassy denied the allegations by Twitting “Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind a 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.”

    UN experts continue their investigations in case of murder of Mr. Khashoggi and the rising role of the surveillance industry in allowing the baffling use of notorious spyware to threaten human rights defenders, journalists, and proprietors of media houses.

    Apart from case of hacking Bezos’ iPhone through WhatsApp, in the past few months, several other reports of infiltration through WhatsApp have been published making clear WhatsApp is vulnerable.

    Your WhatsApp can be hacked no matter whether you are one of the richest person on this planet. The worst part is that it’s very difficult for you to find out in case hackers did their job right.

    Alternative to WhatsApp

    There are a few alternatives to WhatsApp but the most preferred one is Signal. An internationally renowned security technologist, Bruce Schneier said ‘I am regularly impressed with the thought and care put into both the security and the usability of this app. It’s my first choice for an encrypted conversation.’

    Be it messages or voice calls, all Signal conversations are encrypted and secured. No one can read Signal messages including ‘Open Whisper Systems’, parent company of Signal app. With Signal App, users are free to say or share anything as app uses end to end data encryption protocol to keep digital communications private and safe.

    Signal app is free and will never sell ads like Facebook, WhatsApp etc. It is run and managed by a non-profit organization backed by donations and grants. It is an open source messaging platform that lets security experts, researchers and scholars to verify its core codes.

    Signal messages sent to the recipient include message-decoding keys. Signal servers do not store any keys. In this way, messages can be read or accessed by concerned user (i.e. recipient) not anyone else including Government agencies and developers.

    App comes with several advance security features such as message – auto delete, blocking app from showing it in recent app list, incognito mode for 3rd party keyboard applications, app – lock etc.

    In short, if data privacy and security matters to you…UNINSTALL WhatsApp and INSTALL Signal App right now. It is secure, fast, free and easy to use. Most importantly, it is not run by such companies who sell users’ data (like Facebook) for their own profit.

    So, don’t wait anymore. Download Signal App now!

    Protect your Privacy with Signal Private Messenger.

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