When Jamal Khashoggi was communicating via WhatsApp with Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi dissident living in Canada, he probably thought, like many other users, that his messages were hidden using the WhatsApp end-to-end encryption used by default within the application.
Jamal Khashoggi’s Phone Reportedly Compromised through Malware
However, it is reported that Khashoggi’s mobile phone had been compromised and the content of his phone, including all messages were being monitored remotely through the use of malware.
The software is produced by a company who deny any involvement in the death of Jamal Khashoggi, however, once installed, the software allows for complete access of a mobile phone, including camera, keyboard and data, including GPS locations.
This can allow a hacker to identify the location of an individual as well as who they are communicating with and the nature of that communication.
Installation can be via an apparently innocuous settings update message that purports to be from the service provider that, when clicked, actually adds the application hidden on the phone.
How the Phone Malware was Reportedly Installed and Functioned
The software uses hidden vulnerabilities within an operating system and applications contained on it (known as Zero Days) that allow a hacker to gain access to the Apple of Android based handset and allows remote access to the device by a third party.
Researchers say that a text message sent to Omar Abdulaziz’s phone was disguised as an update about a package that he had just ordered and gave access to his phone, including all conversations with Jamal Khashoggi.
About Athena Forensics
For information on our digital forensic services or if you require any advice or assistance please contact a member of our team on 0330 123 4448 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, further details are available on our contact us page.
Our client’s confidentiality is of the utmost importance. All correspondence is treated with discretion, from initial contact to the conclusion of any computer forensics investigation.
Our digital forensics experts are fully aware of the significance and importance of the information that they encounter and we have been accredited to ISO 9001 for 10 years.
Our forensic experts are all security cleared and we offer non-disclosure agreements if required. Our premises along with our security procedures have been inspected and approved by law enforcement agencies.
Athena Forensics do not disclose personal information to other companies or suppliers.