- REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
- Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s EMEA vice president, said that the recently reported hack of Jeff Bezos’ iPhone highlights “potential underlying vulnerabilities” on smartphone operating systems, according to Bloomberg.
- A forensic analysis from FTI Consulting indicated that Bezos’ had been using an iPhone X as his personal device, although there is no indication in the report that vulnerabilities in Apple’s iOS software was to blame for the reported attack.
- Bezos’ iPhone was reportedly hacked after he had received a video file sent via the Facebook-owned WhatsApp in 2018, which caused large amounts of data to be transferred from his phone.
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A Facebook executive said that the recently reported hack of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ iPhone highlights potential security issues with mobile device operating systems, according to Bloomberg.
“One of the things that it highlights is actually some of the potential underlying vulnerabilities that exist on the actual operating systems on phones,” Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice president for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, said during a recent interview with Bloomberg Television.
Mendelsohn didn’t comment directly when asked by Bloomberg TV whether Facebook was investigating the analysis stated in the report. But she did say the company would take “any allegation very seriously.”
“From a WhatsApp perspective, from a Facebook perspective, the thing that we care about the most, the thing that we invest in is making sure the information that people have with us is safe and secure,” she said.
The Amazon CEO’s iPhone X was reportedly hacked after receiving a file from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s personal WhatsApp account in 2018, according to a forensic analysis performed by FTI Consulting. The Guardian first reported the results on Tuesday.
The file contained a video displaying the Saudi Arabian flag and the Swedish flag along with an encrypted downloader, which triggered a “massive and unauthorized exfiltration of data” from Bezos’ phone within hours that persisted for months, according to FTI Consulting’s analysis, which Vice’s Motherboard obtained on Wednesday.
The analysis did not indicate that any vulnerabilities in the iPhone’s software contributed to the reported attack. Apple did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment regarding Mendelsohn’s remarks.
The United Nations has since called for the United States and other relevant authorities to conduct an investigation into the crown prince. The Saudi government called allegations that the crown prince was tied to the hacking of Bezos’ phone “absurd” and also called for an investigation into the incident.
The report comes after WhatsApp fixed a couple of high-profile security issues over the past year. Last May, for example, it issued a fix for a flaw that would have allowed attackers to insert malicious code onto iPhones and Android devices through a phone call. In November, it patched a bug that could have allowed for remote code execution triggered by sending an MP4 video file if exploited.