Note: Bezos allegations set phone-hacking technologies in the spotlight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Allegations that (AMZN.(O) chief and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, had his phone hacked by a Saudi arabian Prince Muhammed bin Salman to have a spotlight on the security of its smartphones, and the mystery of the tools to hack them.

FILE PHOTO: Jeff Bezos, president, and CEO of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, speaks at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.’s “Milestone Celebration Dinner in Washington, d.c., U.S., on September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Photo File

Smart phones are effectively pocket-sized computers that will run apps on operating systems such as Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android. These devices have created a new world of connectivity and unlimited free phone calls through WhatsApp, for example, or an atlas’s worth of up-to-the-second-Google maps – as well as the majority of potential security problems.

Here’s how smartphones can be compromised and have a look at the possible consequences of the booming market for surveillance-suppliers of the world’s spies gain access to secrets.


Smartphones are, by means of a set of apps, sometimes scores of them, that is a system, which, in turn, runs a complex piece of hardware, embedded with sensors, lenses, and sensors.

Each one carries the potential defects are also called bugs, that could cause a system to crash or behave unexpectedly when it sent a rogue command or to a malicious file. Even small openings, such as those that allow hackers to take control of the device. It is closely related to it is illegal to lower a coat-hanger through a small seam in the car to the door to unlock the vehicle.

A lot of the developers are working hard to make sure that the seams stay closed, but with the millions and millions of lines of code for you to choose from, it is virtually impossible to guarantee complete safety and security.

“There is no software is bugless,” said Oded Vanunu, a researcher with the Israeli cyber security firm Checkpoint, which is often messed up with the popular messaging programs.

As soon as the hackers out there, the possibilities are endless – and frightening. Everyone is in full control of your smartphone and can transform into a powerful surveillance device, it silently track the locations of users, while easy on the copy of the e-mails, instant messages, pictures and more.

A 2015 white paper from the NSO Group is one of the more well-known spyware vendor, the capabilities of the Pegasus-spyware program to follow, in the smallest detail, and a sense of purpose in life, it will throw up warnings if a target is in a particular area, for example, or if two of the goals, or if there is a phone number of an incoming call.

The document will be made public as part of the NSO due to communication, WhatsApp, lets you see how your keystrokes can be logged, phone calls can be intercepted, and a feature called “a room, tap on the” use of the telephone microphone in order to enjoy the ambient in which the device is located.

It says that the spyware is installed, it can be tempting targets to click on malicious links, malicious text messages, but spy in particular, at the price of slower “push the message of” plants at a distance and invisible to the user, on the users ‘ phones.


NSO and the other spyware vendors have claimed that their products are used responsibly – only to be sold to governments for legitimate purposes. NSO has denied any link to the alleged Bezos hack. The saudi officials to dismiss allegations of their involvement as absurd.

Many years of research conducted by internet watchdog group the Citizen Lab has been a well-documented account of the exposure of the international cyber spying campaign, and a drumbeat of litigation, and that the leaked documents are referred to, such claims, if it is a proper use to them.

In October of last year, the messaging company WhatsApp, accused of NSO in California, alleging that the spyware companies have taken advantage of a bug in the app is the video calling protocol is changed from over 1,400 users from around the world during the period between April 29 and May 10, 2019 at the latest, only one.

Reports from other companies, such as Italy, the now-defunct Hacking Team’s spyware, the company, which is now known as FinSpy have also raised questions about the company’s business. Hacking Team spyware was involved in spying campaigns against dissidents in Ethiopia and the Middle East, for example, while researchers have recently found evidence that FinSpy software was then used in Turkey.

The two companies’ tools work in a similar way to the NSO’s use of the flaws in smartphones to disrupt the devices as a whole.

Reporting by Raphael satter; Editing by Howard Goller

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