Jeff Bezos’ Phone Hack Should Terrify Everyone

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If the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, wants to chat on WhatsApp, politely decline.

That’s the lesson from a series of reports this week based off a forensic examination of Jeff Bezos’ communications with the crown prince. The investigation — conducted at Mr. Bezos’ request by FTI Consulting — found that his phone had most likely been attacked in 2018 after he received a WhatsApp message from the prince’s personal account. While my colleagues in the Times newsroom have pieced together details of the investigation, there’s still a great deal unknown. And cybersecurity experts have serious questions about FTI’s report, which, according to CyberScoop, “has not impressed the information security community.


Looked at one way, the attack on Mr. Bezos’ phone could be seen as yet more proof of what my colleague Kara Swisher called “the death of privacy.” If the richest man in the world — the man who sells listening devices used in millions of homes and whose servers create the internet’s infrastructure — can be hacked, what hope is there for us mere mortals?


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