The hacking of Jeff Bezos’s mobile is a wake-up call for the most powerful

The hacking of Jeff Bezos's mobile is a wake-up call for the most powerful
File photo of Jeff Bezos with Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman. AFP

The alleged hacking of the Bezos mobile by Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman calls into question the weakness of technology, but also of people, according to the newspaper ‘Financial Times’.

The British newspaper questions who can feel safe when publishing the most personal information of Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, who owns Amazon and ‘The Washington Post’, the newspaper at the Jamal Khashoggi criticized the kingdom of the Saudis.

The insecurity increases when the hacking also occurred allegedly through a message sent to the iPhone X of Bezos through the WhatsApp account of a future head of state, Saudi prince Mohammad bin Salman. Therefore, it is still a clear wake-up call for those with higher positions not only at the business level but also at the government level.

In any case, this event gives everyone an objective lesson about digital vulnerability.

First, it involves social engineering. Attacks like this play with human weakness. At higher levels of business or government positions, ego, opportunity and responsibility strive to shape how personal networks operate. Trust is a requirement, and digital communication channels are inevitable.

The second weakness of the iPhone hacking is the immediate availability of powerful cyber weapons for anyone who has money to pay for them, and the ethical will to use them.

The third significant aspect of this attack questions the use of networks and mobile devices. The focus has been placed on WhatsApp, since the malware sent by the Saudi prince in his message to Bezos seemed to come from an encrypted media server owned by Facebook. This could suggest that encryption is itself the ally of hackers and that as Facebook directs its business more towards private messaging through encrypted networks, it will be more complicated to block such attacks.

In this case, in addition, there are circumstances that Apple’s iOS operating system has proven to be safer than the Android smartphone software. But clearly there is nothing certain because intrusions like this undermine personal confidence at the highest levels.