Journalists In Danger of Cyber Espionage: Lessons from Jamal Khashoggi murder

BBC news ran a piece titled “Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi murder suspect had spy training” which provides more details on one of the 15-member team sent to kill Jamal Khashoggi. Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb was trained in how to use offensive spyware technology as part of nation-state sponsored efforts for the Saudi state.

A source described how Mr. Mutreb spent time in a course with him in 2011 learning to use tech his company was providing the Saudi government so it could carry out targeted attacks on the phones and computers of its own citizens.

From the BBC report:

“This information might have been basically everything from [their] GPS position, conversation, microphone audio around the device itself, camera pictures, files on disk, emails, contacts, everything that was on the device itself.”

The tools he was trained in, the source said, were similar to other tools which, according to Citizenlab and Amnesty International, were recently used against several of Mr Khashoggi’s friends.

We have a recommendation for all journalists as well as anyone else seeking to make it harder to be spied upon. Take action now to raise your defenses by reviewing the OODA Guide to Cybersecurity Best Practices.

And for external review of your cybersecurity posture see OODA LLC offerings in:

Technology Due Diligence – CTO as a service – CISO as a Service