Primer Bezos: Ko tudi “najpametnejši” in najbogatejši zemljani niso varni pred globalnim terorizmom

The Guardian je objavil zanimivo zgodbo, kako je saudski kronski princ Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) v prijateljski izmenjavi prek aplikacije WhatsApp enemu izmed najbogatejših zemljanov Jeffu Bezosu, ustanovitelju in lastniku Amazona, ki se ima tudi za “zelo pametnega”, poslal okužen video. Slednji pa je nato v nekaj urah pretočil vse informacije iz Bezosovega telefona. Devet mesecev zatem pa je izbruhnil škandal, ko je ameriški tabloid National Enquirer objavil intimne informacije o Bezosovem izvenzakonskem življenju. Bezosa je škandal stal zakona in polovice premoženja.

Špekulacije gredo v smer, da je MBS hekal Bezosa zaradi lastništva časopisa The Washington Post, v katerem je kritične tekste o kraljevi saudski družini objavljal novinar Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggija so kasneje v savdski ambasadi v Istanbulu brutalno umorili savdski obveščevalci. Zgodba je izjemno poučna iz vidika kibernetske varnosti in mednarodnega terorizma ter seveda relacij med prijateljskima državama, ki na ozemlju partnerske države hekata državljane partnerske države.

The Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos had his mobile phone “hacked” in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, sources have told the Guardian.

The encrypted message from the number used by Mohammed bin Salman is believed to have included a malicious file that infiltrated the phone of the world’s richest man, according to the results of a digital forensic analysis.

This analysis found it “highly probable” that the intrusion into the phone was triggered by an infected video file sent from the account of the Saudi heir to Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post.

The two men had been having a seemingly friendly WhatsApp exchange when, on 1 May of that year, the unsolicited file was sent, according to sources who spoke to the Guardian on the condition of anonymity.

Large amounts of data were exfiltrated from Bezos’s phone within hours, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Guardian has no knowledge of what was taken from the phone or how it was used.

The extraordinary revelation that the future king of Saudi Arabia may have had a personal involvement in the targeting of the American founder of Amazon will send shockwaves from Wall Street to Silicon Valley.

It could also undermine efforts by “MBS” – as the crown prince is known – to lure more western investors to Saudi Arabia, where he has vowed to economically transform the kingdom even as he has overseen a crackdown on his critics and rivals.

The disclosure is likely to raise difficult questions for the kingdom about the circumstances around how US tabloid the National Enquirer came to publish intimate details about Bezos’s private life – including text messages – nine months later.

It may also lead to renewed scrutiny about what the crown prince and his inner circle were doing in the months prior to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post journalist who was killed in October 2018 – five months after the alleged “hack” of the newspaper’s owner.

Bezos’s head of security, Gavin de Becker, wrote in the Daily Beast last March he had provided details of his investigation to law enforcement officials, but did not publicly reveal any information on how the Saudis accessed the phone.

He also described “the close relationship” the Saudi crown prince had developed with David Pecker, the chief executive of the company that owned the Enquirer, in the months before the Bezos story was published. De Becker did not respond to calls and messages from the Guardian.

Saudi experts – dissidents and analysts – told the Guardian they believed Bezos was probably targeted because of his ownership of the Post and its coverage of Saudi Arabia. Khashoggi’s critical columns about Mohammed bin Salman and his campaign of repression against activists and intellectuals rankled the crown prince and his inner circle.

Vir: The Guardian

 

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