The 22 biggest tech scandals of 2020, from the unprecedented Twitter hack to the makers of ‘Fortnite’ declaring war on Apple

JANUARY: New details emerge about Jeff Bezos’ iPhone hack

mohammad bin salman jeff bezos
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (left) and Jeff Bezos.

In January, The Guardian and The New York Times reported that a forensic analysis of Bezos’ iPhone by FTI Consulting found evidence that Saudi officials were involved in the leaking of Bezos’ relationship and personal messages in 2019.

The claim was backed up soon after, when the UN called for an “immediate investigation” into the crown prince. 

According to the forensic report, Bezos and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman exchanged numbers at a dinner in April 2018 — on May 1 of that year, Bezos’ iPhone is said to have been infiltrated after he received a video attachment from the crown prince’s personal WhatsApp account.

Within hours of Bezos receiving the video, the report found that a “massive and … unprecedented exfiltration of data” began, an increase of more than 29,000%. 

After details of the forensic report were published, the Saudi government issued a statement calling the reporting “absurd” and said it would be investigating the claims. 

FEBRUARY: A former Microsoft engineer is convicted of stealing $10 million from the company

Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

Former Microsoft software engineer Volodymyr Kvashuk was convicted in February of stealing $10 million worth of digital currency from his former employer. 

Kvashuk — who worked at Microsoft from August 2016 to June 2018, first as a contractor, then as a full-time employee — was convicted by the US District Court in Seattle after a five-day trial, the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington announced at the time. 

The court found that Kvashuk had stolen “currency stored value,” like online gift cards, during his time testing the retail-sales platform on Microsoft’s website. He then resold the currency in exchange for bitcoin and used the money to buy a lakefront home for $1.6 million and a Tesla that cost $160,000 — likely a Model X, given the price. 

Kvashuk was later sentenced to nine years in prison. 

MARCH: Trolls start invading Zoom calls to share porn or racial slurs

video conference, video chat, zoom call
A Zoom call.