Forensics team accuses Prince Bone Saw of hacking Jeff Bezos's phone to obtain kompromat and force Washington Post silence on Khashoggi

When Jeff Bezos accused the National Enquirer of blackmailing him over personal messages he sent to his lover while married to his then-wife, many pointed the finger at his lover's brother, noted asshole Michael Sanchez, suggesting Sanchez received $200,000 from the Enquirer for stealing the data from his sister's phone -- but Bezos's own investigative team said that they suspected an unspecified government actor had played a role in the leak. Read the rest

Amnesty vs. NSO Group Israel spyware lawsuit goes behind closed doors

In Israel on Thursday, a court ordered closed-door hearings in the legal bid by Amnesty International to stop the global export of NSO Group surveillance software, which Amnesty and other human rights groups say is sold to autocratic regimes around the world to spy on journalists and dissidents, and target them more efficiently for imprisonment and assassination.

We've written a lot previously about NSO Group here on Boing Boing.. Read the rest

Facebook sues notorious spyware company NSO Group for 1,400 attacks on diplomats, journalists, dissidents, and government officials

[Addendum 2/20/2020: Following a legal complaint, the Guardian removed its article of 14 June 2019 and apologised to Mrs Peel. We are happy to clarify that Yana Peel is not, and was not, personally involved in the operation or decisions of the regulated Novalpina Capital investment fund, which is managed by her husband Stephen Peel, and others. Mrs Peel was not involved in any decision-making relating to the fund’s acquisition of NSO. Mrs Peel only has a small, indirect and passive interest in the fund. She does not own, whether directly or indirectly, any Novalpina Capital entity or any stake in NSO Group.] The NSO Group is one of the world's most notorious cyber-arms dealers, selling hacking tools to some of the world's most oppressive regimes that are used to identify targets for arrest, torture and even murder. The Israeli company went through a series of buyouts and buybacks, ending up in the hands of the European private equity fund Novalpina. Novalpina has pledged to rehabilitate the NSO Group's reputation by reforming its practices and limiting the sale of its spying tools to legitimate actors (whomever they may be). But research from the world-leading Citizen Lab (previously) revealed that NSO was behind a string of attacks on Whatsapp users last may, which was used to target human rights campaigners, journalists, and political dissidents. Facebook has filed a lawsuit against the NSO Group, accusing the company of being behind Whatsapp attacks in 20 countries (Whatsapp is a division of Facebook); Facebook claims that the attacks swept up at least 100 members of civil society groups. The suit seeks an injunction against future NSO Group attacks on Whatsapp and unspecified monetary damages. NSO is also being sued in Israel for allegedly helping to entrap the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was kidnapped, murdered and dismembered at the direction of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Facebook's suit presents a mixed bag of legal theories: they accuse NSO Group of violating California contract and property law, but also of violating the tremendously flawed Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a 1986 federal anti-hacking law that Facebook drastically expanded when it sued a competitor called Power Ventures in 2008 (the CFAA was also the law used to hound Aaron Swartz to death). Read the rest

WhatsApp fixes security bug that let hackers take over with a GIF

A spokesperson for the Facebook-owned WhatsApp says the company has fixed a security vulnerability that let hackers take control of the messaging app by way of a malicious GIF. Read the rest

Attorney General William Barr wants to backdoor Facebook's WhatsApp

"We are writing to request that Facebook does not proceed with its plan to implement end-to-end encryption across its messaging services without ensuring that there is no reduction to user safety."

Whatsapp, Slack, Skype and apps based on popular Electron framework vulnerable to backdoor attacks

This week at B-Sides LV, security researcher Pavel Tsakalidis presented his work on security defects in the Electron framework, a cross-platform development framework that combines Javascript with Node.js: apps built with Electron include Skype, Slack, Whatsapp, Visual Studio Code and others. Read the rest

Discovering whether your Iphone has been hacked is nearly impossible thanks to Apple's walled garden

This week, we learned that the notorious Israeli cyber-arms-dealer NSO Group had figured out how hijack your Iphone or Android phone by placing a simple Whatsapp call, an attack that would work even if you don't answer the call. Read the rest

Lawyer involved in suits against Israel's most notorious cyber-arms dealer targeted by its weapons, delivered through a terrifying Whatsapp vulnerability

NSO Group is a notorious Israeli cyber-arms dealer whose long trail of sleaze has been thoroughly documented by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab (which may or may not be related to an attempt to infiltrate Citizen Lab undertaken by a retired Israeli spy); NSO has been implicated in the murder and dismemberment of the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (just one of the brutal dictatorships who've availed themselves of NSO tools), and there seems to be no cause too petty for their clients, which is why their malware has been used to target anti-soda activists in Mexico. Read the rest

Jared Kushner uses WhatsApp to talk with foreign leaders, claims Cummings

But her emails.

Facebook + Instagram + WhatsApp outage 'resolved,' blamed on 'server configuration change'

'Sorry,' and it wasn't a DDOS, says Facebook.

Facebook is working on a crypto coin for WhatsApp

Facebook is said to be developing a 'stablecoin,' which is a kind of digital currency pegged to the U.S. dollar.

New privacy hires at WhatsApp: Nate Cardozo (EFF), Robyn Greene (Open Technology Institute)

This bodes well for WhatsApp users. Read the rest

Fans of Brazil's new fascist president chant "Facebook! Facebook! Whatsapp! Whatsapp!" at inauguration

Brazil's new president Jair Bolsonaro rode to power on a platform of racist and gendered discrimination, genocide for indigenous people, homophobia, torture apology, and the abolition of human rights; he owes his victory to political spamming and conspiracy theories spread on Facebook at Whatsapp. Read the rest

Whatsapp founder: I sold out, but I walked away from $850,000,000 when I quit Facebook

In 2014, Facebook bought the messaging system Whatsapp for $22B; it was a weird fit, because Whatsapp founders had decried Facebook's surveillance-based business model and targeted advertising, and had promised its users "No ads, no games, no gimmicks." Read the rest

As hoax-fueled lynchings continue in India, Whatsapp puts limits on video-forwarding

The viral hoax video purporting to show child-snatchers kidnapping Indian children continues to fuel lynchmobs, whose death toll has climbed to more than two dozen victims. Read the rest

A viral hoax video has inspired Indian mobs to multiple, brutal murders

Someone edited a Pakistani child-safety education video to make it look like evidence of a ring of kidnappers was snatching children and taking them away on motorcycles; the video went viral in India, spread on Whatsapp, and it has inspired terrified mobs to attack and murder strangers on suspicion of being involved in the fictitious kidnapping rings. Read the rest

Russia blocks Google & Amazon IP addresses, saying they're used by Telegram app Putin just banned

Russia's communications regulator says it has blocked IP addresses owned by Google and Amazon because Moscow claims the internet addresses are used by the Telegram messaging service that was banned by Putin's regime this week. Read the rest

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