A small video file was all that’s needed to hack the iPhone of Jeff Bezos

A small video file was all that’s needed to hack the iPhone of Jeff Bezos
While the FBI spends months of computing time and millions of dollars to crack an iPhone, others do it with a single text message. In case you haven’t heard, the iPhone X of Amazon’s boss Jeff Bezos got hacked… in 2018. That in itself was news enough, but things got more interesting after the blame for the attack was put on the Saudi crown prince. As absurd as it might seem at first, there actually is an explanation that makes sense.

The Washington Post, owned by Jeff Bezos, is running an investigation about the possible involvement of Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman in the murder of the WP journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The iPhone hack was allegedly meant to provide the crown prince with enough material to pressure Bezos to drop the investigation. So what did they get and how?

9to5mac has the full rundown of the events, but in short, Bezos received a video on WhatsApp, sent from an account belonging to the crown prince. The video contained some extra code, which was the malware that provided access to all the files on the iPhone. The file size of the video was about 4.4MB and the code hidden within it could have done its job even if the video wasn’t played, which is especially worrisome.

The malware allowed the attackers to copy personal data from the iPhone, including pictures and text messages, which were later used to pressure the billionaire.

The findings were made by the cybersecurity company Bezos hired to investigate his phone after the incident. Further proof of the Saudi’s involvement was the malware itself. According to the security specialists, it matched spyware used in other attacks performed by Saudi intelligence services.

Of course, the Saudi government condemns these allegations but might face a criminal investigation led by the UN.

Related phones

iPhone X
  • Display 5.8 inches
    2436 x 1125 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera)
    7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A11 Bionic, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 256GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2716 mAh
  • OS iOS 13.x

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18 Comments

18. AlienKiss

Posts: 359; Member since: May 21, 2019

Krapple security.. =)) Why are those phones so expensive again??

17. shiv179

Posts: 204; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

Good thing it was an iPhone, otherwise we would not hear the end of it. How vulnerable Android phones are to hacking and viruses, how secure iOS is blah blah blah...

10. pimpin83z

Posts: 646; Member since: Feb 08, 2019

"A small video file was all that’s needed to hack the iPhone of Jeff Bezos" When you say 'that's' in the title above, are you trying to say that is or that was?

6. Zappo

Posts: 26; Member since: Oct 04, 2016

"While the FBI spends months of computing time and millions of dollars to crack an iPhone" Come on, who is supposed to believe this?

3. TBomb

Posts: 1772; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Stranger Danger in the 21st century. Can't even receive a message from someone you don't know without your life possibly being ruined. Remember the days when it was just "don't get in the car"?

4. tbreezy

Posts: 275; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

Lol, now we get into cars with strangers due to an app, and our lives get ruined by a small digital file masking itself as entertainment.

2. tokuzumi

Posts: 2029; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

UN will write a strongly worded letter, and the matter will go nowhere.

5. maherk

Posts: 7101; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

That's Saudi Arabia for you. They'll get away with whatever they do, they know that they'll never get punished because they have the backing of the US government. Even as a Muslim, them and Iran are the most dangerous nations in the world, funding terrorism to fight a religious war that started 1400 years ago, all whilst hiding behind their own twisted versions of my religion.

8. Vokilam

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Heavy post, bro.

9. tedkord

Posts: 17529; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Expect the Trump administration to back the nice prince from Saudi Arabia against the evil enemy of the people WaPo.

11. maherk

Posts: 7101; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Trump or Obama, Republicans or democrats, both are guilty of blindly standing by the Saudis and turning their blind eyes to their crimes. Same goes to Russia and China and how they blindly support Iran.

12. lyndon420

Posts: 6942; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Agreed. Hillary had support from Saudi.

13. maherk

Posts: 7101; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

As I said, everyone of them is a Saudi puppet. There are two constants that haven't changed throughout the history of US governments, they'll always blindly defended and supported the Saudis and the Israelis.

16. Vokilam

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Playing both sides!

1. tbreezy

Posts: 275; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

This is very interesting, does one blame WhatsApp or Apple? They still need to detail exactly how this managed to manifest itself, had Jeff enabled biometric security in his WhatsApp?

7. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1488; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Apple, as it didn't matter whether or not the video file was even played. That means that the code could execute without any security measures in place to prevent such a thing.

14. mackan84

Posts: 716; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

I blame the Saudi intelligence services.

15. kiko007

Posts: 7525; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

That's the least sound logic I've ever seen.

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