Message from Saudi crown prince linked to hack of Bezos' phone: report

Source: The Hill | January 21, 2020 | Marty Johnson

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos had his smart phone hacked in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message from Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, sources told The Guardian.

An analysis conducted by forensic investigators concluded that it was “highly probable” that inside the encrypted message from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was a malicious file that proceeded to siphon large amounts of data from Bezos’ phone, according to the Guardian report published on Tuesday.

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The message was reportedly sent to Bezos after he and the crown prince had a cordial conversation on the messaging app on May 1, 2018. 

Nine months after the supposed hack, the National Enquirer published intimate details about Bezos’ private life, including an extramarital affair.

The tabloid has claimed it received the information from the estranged brother of Bezos’ girlfriend, but the billionaire’s private team of investigators have “high confidence” that the Saudis hacked the information from Bezos’ phone, The Guardian reports.

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Allegations of a Saudi tie to the hack of Bezos’ phone will also raise more questions about the actions of the crown prince ahead of the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. Bezos is the owner of the Post.

Agnès Callamard, the UN special rapporteur who investigates extrajudicial killings, investigated Khashoggi’s murder and found “credible evidence” that the crown prince other senior Saudi officials were responsible for the killing.

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