Tech & Science This is a rare photo of the smartphone-hacking device sold by the NSO Group, the billion-dollar Israeli spyware company accused of helping hack Jeff Bezos
Saudi Arabia denied hacking into Jeff Bezos' phone and called for an investigation into the 'absurd' claims
Saudi Arabia has denied hacking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' phone, describing the claim as 'absurd." Saudi Arabia's US embassy called via Twitter on Wednesday for 'an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out.'Its US embassy wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that "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.
- A published Wednesday accuses Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of hacking Jeff Bezos' phone in 2018.
- The UN report indicates that Mohammed carried out the hack using technology from the NSO Group, a billion-dollar Israeli spyware startup.
- A Business Insider photo reveals the device NSO Group sells to its clients to carry out hacks.
- NSO Group denied any involvement in hacking Bezos's phone, but the company has been accused of helping Saudi Arabia attack dissidents in the past.
Apublished Wednesday places a secretive, billion-dollar Israeli spyware company at the centre of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's alleged hack of Jeff Bezos' personal phone.
The nasty spyware likely used to hack Jeff Bezos lets governments secretly access everything in your smartphone, from text messages to the microphone and cameras — here's how it works
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had his phone hacked, and the primary suspect for the hacking is Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. A UN report published Wednesday concludes that Bezos' iPhone was likely hacked using a notorious tool named Pegasus, created by the NSO Group - a secretive firm from Israel that bills itself as a leader in cyberwarfare. Saudi Arabian officials have been repeatedly connected to Pegasus hacks, according to a new UN report. Pegasus enables hackers to remotely access everything in an infected smartphone, from text messages to location data - and it's next to impossible to know whether your phone was infected without a professional analysis.
The UN report found that Crown Prince Mohammed and Bezos exchanged messages on WhatsApp in spring 2018, before Crown Prince Mohammed sent Bezos a malicious video file, after which Bezos' phone started transmitting a huge amount of data. The report's authors called for an "immediate investigation by US and other relevant authorities."
As for the software used for the hack, UN investigators determined that "the most likely explanation for the anomalous data egress was use of mobile spyware such as NSO Group's Pegasus."
The NSO Group is an Israeli spyware company valued at over a billion dollars that offers its clients "offensive-cyber capabilities." The group hasbeen accused of helping Saudi Arabia and other countries attack dissidents and journalists, but has repeatedly denied those claims.
Here are the 10 most important details you need to know from the bombshell UN analysis of Jeff Bezos' phone hack
The UN on Wednesday said it had received credible information that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had his phone hacked by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The UN published a summary of an external forensic investigation into the hack, which included details of how the Amazon CEO exchanged numbers with the Crown Prince, and how the alleged hack took place.The UN statement drew links with the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The NSO Group also denied the UN Report's allegations in a statement to Business Insider.
"As we stated unequivocally in April 2019 to the same false assertion, our technology was not used in this instance. We know this because of how our software works and our technology cannot be used on US phone numbers. Our products are only used to investigate terror and serious crime," an NSO Group spokesperson said.
Little is known about exactly how NSO Group's technology works. Sources familiar with the company told Business Insider in August that clients pay to use Pegasus, the firm's hacking tool, based on the number of people they want to target. The group offers a combination of hardware and software to carry out hacks.
The NSO group displayed a hacking device at the 2019 Milipol security conference in Paris, and Business Insider's Becky Peterson took a photo. Here's what it looks like:
White House breaks silence on Jeff Bezos phone-hacking scandal, calls Saudi Arabia an 'important ally'
The White House broke its silence Thursday on reports that Saudia Arabia was likely behind the hacking of Jeff Bezos' phone. The White House called Saudi Arabia an "important ally" and said it doesn't have any additional information on the hacking allegations but it's taking the situation "seriously."The White House weighed in Thursday on reports that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was likely behind the hacking of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' phone.
It's not clear why NSO Group's software wouldn't work on US phone numbers as the company claimed, or whether that restriction is self-imposed by the company. It's also possible that NSO Group has developed a newer model or changed its hacking methods since displaying the device at Milipol.
Report: FBI Investigating NSO Group Over Notorious International Hacks .
The FBI is investigating shady cyber-intelligence company NSO Group and the possible use of its phone-hijacking tools in several high-profile hacks, Reuters reported on Thursday. According to Reuters, a source interviewed by the FBI said the agency has been investigating NSO since at least 2017—when it was looking into whether “NSO obtained from American hackers any of the code it needed to infect smartphones”—and is more recently looking into allegations that NSO was involved in an attack that used its Pegasus malware to hijack some 1,400 phones belonging to dissidents, lawyers, and journalists via a flaw in Facebook-o