Journalist Says His iPhone was Hacked After Hacker Simply Sent Him a Text

A journalist claimed that his iPhone was hacked by someone who simply texted him.

Ben Hubbard, a journalist, claims he never clicked anything after receiving the message. His phone was hacked twice, according to a spyware research institute he worked with.

According to Hubbard, Saudi Arabia may be responsible for the hacking of his iPhone. At least one of the hacking attempts is said to have been carried out with the help of the Pegasus spyware.

Hacked iPhone of a Journalist

According to his own report for The New York Times, journalist Ben Hubbard’s iPhone was hacked twice.


According to a separate Futurism report, Hubbard claims that “a hacker was able to access his iPhone after sending him a text message – even though he never clicked anything.”

According to Hubbard, he collaborated with Citizen Lab, a spyware research institute, to determine when he was hacked, who hacked his iPhone, and if any information stored on the device had been stolen.

Citizen Lab eventually realized he’d been hacked twice. The first hacking attempt occurred in 2020, and the second occurred just this year. Hubbard’s iPhone had been compromised using “so-called ‘zero-click’ exploits, which allowed the hacker to get inside my phone without my clicking on any links.”

Saudi Arabia and Pegasus Spyware

The two attempts to hack Hubbard’s phone in 2020 and 2021 are not the only ones. In 2018, his phone was subjected to two hacking attempts. A text message was used in one hacking attempt, and a Whatsapp message was used in the other. Neither attempt yielded a positive result.

According to Bill Marczak, a senior fellow at Citizen Labs, “he had ‘high confidence’ that Pegasus had been used all four times,” according to his report for The New York Times.

The Pegasus in question is a piece of software known as the Pegasus spyware. According to Futurism, the Pegasus was created by an Israeli developer known as NSO Group. NSO Group has denied that Pegasus is being used to hack phones on numerous occasions.

According to Hubbard’s report, Saudi Arabia was behind the 2018 hacking attempts. “The attacks appeared to have been launched by Saudi Arabia because they came from servers run by an operator who had previously targeted a number of Saudi activists,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard is a Middle East journalist who wrote a book last year about Saudi Arabia’s ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

According to his report, one of the text messages from 2018 was sent using Pegasus. According to the report, the NSO Group canceled its contracts with Saudi Arabia in 2018 following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A year later, the NSO Group was back in business with the kingdom, with restrictions on the use of Pegasus added to its contract.

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