Jeff Bezos' phone hack started with a WhatsApp message: a timeline
Forensics investigation on how Jeff Bezos his iPhone got hacked is a wild ride a story about international espionage, blackmail and WhatsApp between the world's richest man and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
Let's walk through the timeline here on this.
On Wednesday the United Nations called for a full investigation into Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's alledged role in hacking Jeff Bezos' iPhone 10.
They received a report from FTI Consulting, a business advisory firm that Jeff Bezos hired to figure out how his phone even got hacked in the first place.
The results detail a very coordinated effort to install spyware on Jeff Bezos' phone.
November 2017, the Saudi regime buys Pegasus three.
This is spyware developed by the Israeli surveillance company and so group, March 21 2018 Jeff Bezos is invited to dinner out in Los Angeles by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or MBS.
That dinner happens on April 4th 2018, where later they exchanged numbers to chat on WhatsApp.
During this entire time, Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi is publishing columns criticizing MBS and the Saudi Arabian government.
May 1st 2018.
Just a month after the dinner between Bezos and MBS, MBS sends Bezos a video file on WhatsApp.
Researchers believe this is where the spyware infected Bezos's iPhone.
Hours after Bezo's phone got infected, investigators found that his phone had been sending out data the rate of 29,000% more than normal.
Over the next few months they'd continue to harvest data from Bezo's phone at this alarming rate, in total it had amersed more than 6 GB of data off Bezo's phone.
Not much analysis could be done on the spyware because the video downloader was encrypted through Whatsapp and the researchers couldn't really get a look at the code on it.
Between May and June 2018 several Saudi activists with ties to Khashoggi are also infected with malware via Whatsapp.
October 2nd 2018 the Saudi Arabian government kills Khashoggi.
November 8, 2018 MBS text Bezos, a photo of a woman who resembles Lauren Sanchez, the woman that Bezos is cheating on his wife with in the photo.
It's a meme that talks about arguing with a woman at the time Bezos was going through a divorce with his wife, which was not public knowledge.
January 9, 2019, Bezos announces that he's getting a divorce with MacKenzie Bezos, his wife of 25 years.
February 7, 2019, Bezos makes a medium post saying that the National Enquirer has been trying to blackmail him with text messages and photos between him and Lauren Sanchez.
October 29, 2019 Facebook announces a lawsuit against the NSO group over alleged hacking attempts on more than 1,400 WhatsApp users in the span of two weeks.
November 14th 2019, Facebook confirms to investigators that sending an mp4 file on WhatsApp was an effective method for installing spyware on people's phones.
Which is what exactly what happened to Jeff Bezos.
January 1st 2020, the Saudi Embassy denies any ties to this hack and calls for their own investigation on the claims.
The NSO group denies any involvement with this hack.
January 2nd 2020 the UN calls for a full investigation into the Saudi Arabian government and its role in this massive hack.
Noting this an effort to influence or silence the washing and post reporting.
That is the timeline so far.
And what we have seen is that government sponsored spyware is incredibly powerful, even on a encrypted messaging app like WhatsApp, and it can affect even the most powerful people in the world.
Riding the Walkcar, the 'laptop with wheels'
The tech we lost in 2020
iPhone 12 Pro Max: Diving in on a single charge
TCL 6-Series: Best TV for the money in 2020
2020's best smartphone
This hybrid-airplane flies like a Prius
The basics of The Mandalorian
iPhone 12 cases for every type of user
The PlayStation 5 gets this hot under our thermal imaging camera