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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Loses World’s Richest Man Title to Bill Gates

The Bezos couple finalised their divorce in April in what was reported as the biggest divorce settlement in history, entitling MacKenzie Bezos to Jeff Bezos' stocks worth around $36 billion

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Jeff-Bezo
FILE - Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster in Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 5, 2017. (VOA)

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has lost the title as the world’s richest man, paving the way for tenacious Bill Gates to grab the top spot after Amazon’s lacklustre Q3 results resulted in Bezos losing nearly $7 billion in stock value.

Amazon shares fell 7 per cent in after-hours trading on Thursday, leaving Bezos down to $103.9 billion.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is currently worth $105.7 billion.

Bezos ended Gates’ 24-year run as the richest man in 2018 and became the first man on earth with a net worth of $160 billion.

Amazon reported a 26 per cent drop in net income in its third quarter, its first profit decline since 2017, reports Forbes.

World, Decades, Schedule
FILE – Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, attends a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 9, 2018. VOA

In after-hours trading, Amazon dropped nearly 9 per cent to $1,624 per share.

Gates debuted on Forbes’ first ever billionaire list in 1987 with a net worth of $1.25 billion.

Also Read: 42 Malicious Apps Affected 8 Million Android Users: Report

Bezos first joined The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans in 1998, one year after Amazon went public, with a net worth of $1.6 billion, the report added.

The Bezos couple finalised their divorce in April in what was reported as the biggest divorce settlement in history, entitling MacKenzie Bezos to Jeff Bezos’ stocks worth around $36 billion. (IANS)

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Blames Apple iOS for Bezos’ Phone Hacking

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Facebook has blamed Apple’s operating system for the hacking of Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone, saying WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is unhackable.

Investigators believe that Bezos’s iPhone was compromised after he received a 4.4MB video file containing malware via WhatsApp – in the same way when phones of 1,400 select journalists and human rights activists were broken into by Pegasus software from Israel-based NSO Group last year.

In an interview to the BBC last week, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications, Nick Clegg, said it wasn’t WhatsApp’s fault because end-to-end encryption is unhackable and blamed Apple’s operating system for Bezos’ episode.

“It sounds like something on the, you know, what they call the operate, operated on the phone itself. It can’t have been anything on the, when the message was sent, in transit, because that’s end-to-end encrypted on WhatsApp,” Clegg told the show host.

Clegg compared the hack to opening a malicious email, saying that “it only comes to life when you open it”.

According to a report from FTI Consulting, a firm that has investigated Bezos’ phone, after that the video file was received, Bezos’ phone started sending unusually large amounts of outbound data, including his intimate messages with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin. (Wikimedia commons)

According to Clegg, “something” must have affected the phone’s operating system.

“As sure as you can be that the technology of end-to-end encryption cannot, other than unless you have handset, or you have the message at either end, cannot be hacked into,” he was quoted as saying.

Apple was yet to comment on Facebook’s statement.

The NSO Group has denied it was part of Bezos’ hacking.

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WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages. But the piece of NSO Group software exploited WhatsApp’s video calling system by installing the spyware via missed calls to snoop on the selected users.

According to leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy, end-to-end encrypted apps (E2EE) do provide security, and messages or calls cannot be intercepted and decrypted en route without enormous computing resources.

“But once anyone can get to your handset, whether a human or a piece of software, the encryption doesn’t matter anymore. Because on your handset, it’s all decrypted,” Roy told IANS recently. (IANS)