Hacking billionaires and the link between Bezos, Iran and what’s next for America

Hacking billionaires and the link between Bezos, Iran and what’s next for America Hacking billionaires and the link between Bezos, Iran and what’s next for America

January 24, 20202 min read

It’s becoming the ultimate he said/she said between the ultra-rich and world elite. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is claiming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hacked his phone via WhatsApp. The motive seems routed to the murdering of the Washington Post’s journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

However, as the billionaires debate and deflect what actually happened, the event should be a warning sign of what could be on the horizon.

America is still on guard and expecting retaliation in one form or another from the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, and online attacks and targeting cellphones could be the preferred method from America’s enemies abroad.


“We should expect attacks from Iranian hackers or those sympathetic to their cause who appear to be civilians without nation state sponsorship will hit low level targets on the basis of ideological/national pride,” says Michigan State University’s

Thomas J. Holt. “There will likely be nation-state sponsored attacks though it is unclear how quickly they will launch or how effective they may be.”


This is an area that is familiar with American military and intelligence circles, Holt further explains.


“Historically the U.S. has been involved in cyber-attacks that are able to severely affect Iranian capabilities, such as Stuxnet. Their counterattacks have been less public and seemingly less effective. However, they’ve already begun as with that web defacement against a US government website reported last week that appears to have Iranian ties or origination.”

And as America waits and watches...

  • What are the obvious and perhaps not so obvious approaches to breaching American cyber-security that we can expect?


  • Will it be app based? Will the general public be a target or is it in the best interests to hit higher- and more visible properties?

  • And if Jeff Bezos and all of his resources are vulnerable – is there any true way to ensure anyone is safe online?



There is a lot to be explored as this story progresses and if you are a journalist covering this topic – then let our experts help.


Thomas J. Holt is a professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University whose research focuses on computer hacking, malware, and the role of the Internet in facilitating all manner of crime and deviance.

Professor Holt is available to speak with media about these issues – simply click on his icon to arrange an interview today.

Connect with:
  • Tom Holt
    Tom Holt Professor of Criminal Justice

    Thomas J. Holt is an expert in Cybercrime, Cyberterror, and Information Warfare Researcher

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