The mobile phone of the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, was reportedly hacked in 2018, sources told the British newspaper The Guardian, pointing out that it happened after Bezos received a WhatsApp message sent from the personal account of the Saudi crown prince.
A forensic team hired by the Bezos found out that the encrypted message is thought to have included a malicious file that infiltrated the billionaire’s phone. According to the analysists, it is highly probable that an infected video file triggered the intrusion. The spyware reportedly exfiltrated large amounts of data from Bezos’ phone, sources added.
The investigators started looking at Bezos’ mobile phone after the National Enquirer published intimate details about his private life last year.
Relations between Saudi Arabia and Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post, worsened significantly after one of the newspaper’s journalists and a critic of the Saudi government, Jamal Khashoggi, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
In a dedicated blog post last year, Bezos insinuated that the Saudi regime was disappointed by the Post’s essential coverage of Khashoggi’s killing.
In a press release Wednesday, the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington, DC, has categorically denied the allegations in hacking Jeff Bezos’ iPhone, calling them ”absurd.”
The Saudi diplomats in the US also insisted for an investigation on these claims so that we have all the facts out.
On Wednesday, the United Nations (UN) experts also insisted for an immediate investigation on the matter. The special rapporteurs, Agnes Callamard and David Kaye said in a joint statement that they were ”gravely concerned” by the information they had obtained about the possible involvement of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman in surveillance of Jeff Bezos.
The UN experts also suggested that if proven, it could be regarded as an attempt of Saudi Arabia to influence or even silence the Washington Post’s coverage on the Kingdom.
The allegations cast a new shadow over Prince Mohammed, who has been trying to overhaul the Saudi Arabia’s economy and attract foreign investments.
The disclosure is expected to raise difficult questions for Riyadh about how the US tabloid the National Enquirer obtained personal details about Bezos’ private life, including text messages.
It could also result in a renewed Western scrutiny about what the Prince was doing in the months before the murder of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.
What do you think? Do you believe that the Saudi crown prince is to blame about the hacking of Jeff Bezos’ iPhone?