Cyber security: The Jeff Bezos phone hack proves anyone can fall victim

Cyber security: The Jeff Bezos phone hack proves anyone can fall victim

Source Business Insider:

Jeff Bezos’ phone was hacked in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message from Mohammed bin Salman, according to an explosive new report from The Guardian , which sites multiple sources familiar with the investigation.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was reportedly hacked by Saudi Arabia crown prince MbS in 2018, according to a new bombshell report from The Guardian’s Stephanie Kirchgaessner.

Citing unnamed sources with knowledge of an international investigation into the hacking, The Guardian report reveals that Bezos’ phone was infiltrated after opening a malicious video file sent from the crown prince’s number on WhatsApp.

The two men reportedly had a seemingly friendly texting exchange on WhatsApp on May 1, 2018, after which an unsolicited video file was sent from bin Salman’s account. After Bezos opened the file, data was rapidly extracted from his personal phone, according to the report.

Saudi Arabia has yet to comment on The Guardian’s report, while an attorney for Bezos declined to comment beyond saying Bezos was cooperating with investigations.

Representatives for Bezos and the Saudi Arabian government did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

The incident was revealed in a forensic investigation conducted by FTI Consulting that was first reported by The Guardian earlier this week. The United Nations has since called on the United States and other relevant authorities to conduct an investigation. The Saudi government denied the allegations against it and called them “absurd.”

While reports suggest the Bezos hack was a specific and targeted attack, security experts say that the critical amount of sensitive data stored on today’s smartphones means mobile devices will continue to be high-value targets for state-sponsored attackers and black market hackers alike. It also illustrates that anyone, even prominent CEOs with vast resources, can be vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.

“It’s ultimately a fact of life at this point,” Paul Lipman, CEO of cybersecurity firm BullGuard, said to Business Insider. “As more of what we do relies on technology, [devices] become a target.”

Although it may be impossible to completely prevent and detect some cyber attacks before they occur, there are certain measures that both high-profile figures like Bezos and average smartphone users can take to mitigate the risks, experts say. The first thing people need to do to protect themselves is understand how they might be vulnerable to attacks.

Bezos’ phone reportedly began leaking data within hours of the encrypted downloader being received, and it continued to do so for months, FTI Consulting’s report said. In its statement calling for an investigation, the United Nations said that spyware tools believed to have previously been used by Saudi officials, such as the NSO Group’s Pegasus-3 malware, may have been used to execute the attack.

Malware attacks can generally be difficult to prevent because, in some cases, the target doesn’t even need to click on a link or download a file to become infected.

A previous vulnerability in WhatsApp, for example, made it possible to inject spy software on a user’s smartphone simply by calling them, even if the victim didn’t answer. That exploitation was carried out using software from NSO Group, as the Financial Times reported.

“Malware wants to remain under the radar,” said Etay Maor, chief security officer at Intsights. “And usually once it’s in, it’s extremely hard to identify that something is wrong.”

That’s why Bogdan Botezatu, director of threat research and reporting at cybersecurity firm Trend Micro, suggests that high-profile targets like Bezos use two phones: one with no valuable personal information stored on it for browsing social media and using apps like WhatsApp, and a separate highly-secure phone with limited access to the Internet and apps for storing sensitive information.

Maor similarly suggests leaving your primary mobile device in a secure location when traveling and bringing a burner phone instead to mitigate the risk of an attack.

“There’s no such thing as ‘this device cannot be hacked,'” Maor said. “And we’ve seen this over and over again. So at the end of the day, it’s a game of risk management.”

Such measures may be practical and worthwhile for public-facing figures like Bezos, one of the world’s richest men who runs one of the world’s most valuable companies and owns The Washington Post. But most people will probably be able to adequately protect themselves by following best practices when it comes to digital security, like keeping software up to date, avoiding downloading files from unknown sources, and only installing apps and programs from official app stores managed by Apple and Google.

“The reality is that these kinds of attacks are highly targeted, not attacks that the average person is going to fall prey to,” Lipman said. “And the reality is that anyone can be hacked, with enough time, motivation, and resources.”

FanDragon Technologies Gears Up For Aggressive Go-To-Market Initiatives With Key Hires In Four Departments

FanDragon Technologies Gears Up For Aggressive Go-To-Market Initiatives With Key Hires In Four Departments


Department Heads Will Lead Business Development, Product, Finance and Marketing, Driving Opportunities for Product Enhancement, Partnership Growth

FanDragon Technologies, a leading provider of innovative SaaS-based secure mobile ticket delivery solutions, announced the hiring of five new executives to navigate company growth, strategic initiatives and product innovation.

To build out its business development, product development, marketing and finance units, FanDragon Technologies has hired:

  • John Marchesini as Vice President of Product
  • Jim Abel as Head of Business Development
  • Kenji Nightingale as Vice President of Finance
  • Ash Steffy as Head of Marketing and Brand Strategy
  • Gillian Raikes as Manager of Business Development and Partnerships

“FanDragon Technologies has a unique opportunity to transform the ticketing business with our innovative blockchain-powered SaaS tools, but we know we need a strong team to effectively steer our products into the marketplace,” said FanDragon founding CEO Robert Weiss. “With proven leaders like Jim, John, Kenji, Ash and Gillian at the helm, FanDragon is poised for strategic growth that will add value and transparency to the entire ticket ecosystem – including venues, event organizers, ticketing software companies, and more. We’re excited about the future of FanDragon with this incredible team who can support our expansion.”

As Vice President of Product, John Marchesini will lead the product innovation team, focusing on developing FanDragon’s growing suite of SaaS ticket delivery solutions. Previously, Marchesini served as Vice President of Product and Engineering for CBS Television Distribution. Prior to CBS, he served as Director of Product for The Hollywood Reporter, leading his team to win its first Webby Award for best website. Marchesini also co-founded Blockchain Beach, a next-generation media company covering blockchain technology.

Jim Abel will be charged with expanding and creating new business opportunities for FanDragon Technologies as Head of Business Development. Abel will focus on building FanDragon’s sales team and executing effective go-to-market strategies for FanDragon’s innovative products across a wide variety of sectors including music, sports, cinema, theme parks, family entertainment, attractions, and fandom events. Abel has 15 years of executive sales and management experience. He previously served as Vice President of Audience Growth and Senior Director of Corporate Development at RockYou, a Silicon Valley-based media and tech company, where he identified, negotiated and closed multiple strategic partnerships and M&A transactions to accelerate growth.

Kenji Nightingale will lead all financial and accounting operations as FanDragon’s Vice President of Finance. Nightingale will work with the wider executive team to process and lead strategic initiatives that drive revenue and growth. Nightingale’s financial experience spans from small startups to Fortune 10 companies. Previously, he served as the Head of Finance & Accounting at Beautycon Media, and before that, led a team of financial professionals at Deluxe Entertainment and spearheaded DIRECTV’s OTT and Commercial businesses growth.

As Head of Marketing and Brand Strategy, Ash Steffy will lead FanDragon’s global marketing efforts and he will be responsible for all corporate communications, marketing partnerships, public relations and strategic branding across all media platforms. Previously, Steffy served as Vice President of Creative Services at Ovation TV, where he oversaw key initiatives for consumer marketing, advertising sales, affiliate sales, programming and corporate relations.  Before that, he supervised marketing initiatives for the Disney-ABC Media Group. Earlier in his career, Steffy worked for the Directors Guild of America and Universal Pictures.

Rounding out the business development team as Manager of Business Development and Partnerships, Gillian Raikes will focus on building FanDragon’s partnership and customer pipeline and identifying additional strategic growth initiatives. Previously, Raikes was a fellow at Stanford University’s Effective Philanthropy Learning Initiative where she created tools and resources to aid in developing philanthropic strategies. She has also previously worked with KPMG East Africa and McKinsey & Company on large-scale public health and food security innovation projects in Kenya.

Additional product and company news from FanDragon Technologies will be announced in the coming weeks.

Elon Musk reveals his plan to link your brain to your smartphone

Elon Musk reveals his plan to link your brain to your smartphone

Emerging Tech Trends:

Step one: Drill holes in the skull. Step two: Implant “threads” into the brain.

Neuralink, one of Musk’s secretive companies, revealed the advance at a San Francisco event Tuesday, giving the public its first real peek at what the startup’s been up to since its launch two years ago. Neuralink has also created a neurosurgical robot reminiscent of a sewing machine, which can embed the threads — each much thinner than a human hair — in the brain.

So far, the threads have only been tested in animals, but Musk said he hopes to start testing in humans “by the end of next year,” a timeline that seems unrealistically ambitious. He’ll need to get the green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first, which promises to be a complicated feat: The current procedure for implanting the threads requires drilling holes in the skull.

If he succeeds in getting FDA approval, it’ll likely be because he’s pitching the advance as a technology meant to address a medical condition: paralysis. The idea is that the threads will read neuronal signals from a paralyzed patient’s brain and transmit that data to a machine — say, an iPhone — enabling the patient to control it without having to tap or type or swipe.

Neuralink’s trials so far have been conducted on rats, and, it seems, monkeys. In a telling moment during the Q&A portion of the event, Musk veered off-script, saying, “A monkey has been able to control the computer with its brain. Just FYI.” (We don’t yet have evidence to that effect.) Neuralink president Max Hodak’s response: “I didn’t realize we were running that result today, but there it goes.”

If this technology is functional in human patients — and we should always be careful not to extrapolate too much from early animal studies to humans, particularly when dealing with complex brain systems — it could significantly improve quality of life for millions of people. Approximately 5.4 million people are living with paralysis in the US alone, according to a Reeve Foundation study.

As if to underscore Neuralink’s medicinal ambitions, the company’s head surgeon, Matthew MacDougall, spoke onstage dressed in blue scrubs. He emphasized that Neuralink’s main concern is patient safety, adding that eventually the company wants its brain implant procedure to be as non-invasive as Lasik eye surgery. He also said it’s “only intended for patients with serious unmet medical diseases,” like people who’ve been completely paralyzed as the result of a spinal cord injury.

But helping people with paralysis is not, it seems, Musk’s end goal — the futurist made clear he has much grander ambitions. Ultimately, he said, he aims “to achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence.” The goal is to develop a technology that enables humans “merging with AI” so that we won’t be “left behind” as AI systems become more and more advanced.

This fantastical vision is not the sort of thing for which the FDA greenlights human trials. But a study on helping people with paralysis? That may get a warmer reception.

Neuralink is arguably one of the foremost startups dedicated to biohacking, the quest to augment human beings’ physical and cognitive performance, often by performing radical experiments on ourselves. It’s now facing a problem common to many biohackers: The medical system, they complain, holds back progress.

“If you were to come up with a compound right now that literally cures aging, you couldn’t get it approved,” Oliver Medvedik, a biohacking advocate who directs the Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering at Cooper Union, recently told me. “By the definition we’ve set up, aging isn’t a disease, and if you want to get it approved by the FDA you have to target a certain disease. That just seems very strange and antiquated and broken.”

Musk said that the event, which was live-streamed, was not about showing off. “The main reason for doing this presentation is recruiting,” he said. He wants more people to apply to Neuralink’s open positions. The company currently has about 90 employees and $158 million in funding, $100 million of which reportedly came from Musk himself.

But Hodak described the purpose of the presentation differently in an interview with the New York Times. “We want this burden of stealth mode off of us so that we can keep building and do things like normal people, such as publish papers,” he said. (The company recently released a white paper explaining its new technology.)

Neuralink isn’t the first to explore brain-machine interfaces. Other companies like Kernel and Paradromics are also working in this space, as is the US military. Some scientists are currently working on brain implants that would translate paralyzed people’s thoughts into speech.

In other words, if Neuralink really has achieved what it says it’s achieved, this could be a major advance with promising applications for people down the road.

Just don’t expect those applications too soon: The company still has to prove that its system can work in human brains, and that the threads, once implanted, can survive in our brains for years without deteriorating — or causing our brains themselves to deteriorate.


Africa rising as Bizcommunity launches .Africa domain

Africa rising as Bizcommunity launches .Africa domain

Africa rising, pan-Africanism and African renewal are just some of the terms seen regularly on the radars of global business scenario forecasters.

52.3% increase in intra-African trade

According to The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), intra-African trade is expected to increase by 52.3% from 2020. With the African Continental Free Trade Agreement signing in Rwanda, March 2018, and other factors, Africa has proclaimed itself open for business – with 55 countries merging into a single market of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $2.5tn, which will see Africa become the largest free trade area in the world.

With the above factors providing every reason why African business stakeholders should be talking to each other more than ever, Bizcommunity’s dedicated B2B platforms are ideal to enable exactly the knowledge and resource sharing and intra-African networking required right now.

Celebrating Africa Month_ May 2019

In May, the daily go-to media for the curation and distribution of African company news, jobs and events across 18 industries will further spotlight the factors and stakeholders spearheading these moves.

Join us in our vision to enable a connected business-ready Africa

Send a clear message to the world that your company is open for African business opportunities on daily news platforms.

Join us in our vision to enable a connected business-ready Africa. Publish company news, opinion, activations, events and jobs on the biggest multi-industry website, that’s made in Africa, to put African business news on the front pages and in the hands of our 464,000 readers.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Bizcommunity.

Global Cyber Security Market

Global Cyber Security Market

Author: Hirem Sam (Source: Global News Journal)

Zion Market Research has announced the addition of a new market intelligence report. The report is titledCyber Security (Network Security, Cloud Security, Wireless Security and Others) Market, By Solution (Identity and Access Management (IAM), Encryption, Risk and Compliance Management, Data Loss Prevention, Antivirus And Antimalware, Firewall And Others), By Vertical (Aerospace, Government, Financial Services, Telecommunication, Healthcare And Others): Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Segment, Trends and Forecast, 2015 – 2021”. The global Cyber Security Market report serves with all-inclusive, highly-effective, and thoroughly analyzed information in a well-organized manner, based on actual facts, about the Cyber Security Market. The whole information from the scratch to the financial and management level of the established industries associated with the Cyber Security Market at the global level is initially acquired by the dedicated team. The gathered data involves the information about the industry’s establishment, type and the form of products it manufactures, annual sales and revenue generation, the demand of the manufactured product in the market, marketing trends followed by the industry, and a lot more important information. The industries majorly comprise the global leading industries that are putting their extreme efforts to maintain the hold over the highly-competitive Cyber Security Market, about which the thorough information is provided in the report.

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Cyber security

Some of the Major Cyber Security Market Players Are:

  • Symantec
  • IBM
  • McAfee
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • CSC

The industry analysts begin their task by compiling this huge pile of information, graphically expressing, anticipating the future market growth, offering the ways to improve the business, and many other important viewpoints explained by them in the global Cyber Security Market report. The report delivers the analytical data in several parts based on the fragments of the global Cyber Security Market product, its end-users, applications, and others of the market; additionally,

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Cyber Security

The global Cyber Security Market report elucidates the comprehensive analysis of the market-derived on the basis of regional division [Latin America, North America, Asia Pacific, Middle & East Africa, and Europe]. The report comprises precise analytical information related to market forecast for several upcoming years. The report also includes the particulars about the valuation of macro and micro elements significant for the growth of already established Cyber Security Market contenders and emerging new companies.