Published: Wed, January 22, 2020
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Saudi crown prince hacked Jeff Bezos's phone, the Guardian reports

Saudi crown prince hacked Jeff Bezos's phone, the Guardian reports

The Guardian reported on Tuesday that the Amazon billionaire received a message from Mohammed Bin Salman's personal phone number which contained a malicious file. An analysis of Bezos' phone reportedly revealed that following a seemingly friendly conversation between the two men, the video file sent by the crown prince corrupted Bezos' phone and made large amounts of data vulnerable, eventually leading to embarrassing leaks.

De Becker declined to comment on the Guardian report Tuesday beyond the lengthy statement past year, which was posted on the news site The Daily Beast.

De Becker and Amazon didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Callamard, whose own investigation into the murder of Khashoggi found "credible evidence" the crown prince and other senior Saudi officials were responsible for the killing, confirmed to the Guardian she was still pursuing "several leads" into the murder, but declined to comment on the alleged Bezos link. The Post was publishing fierce critiques of bin Salman by Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a time when there was nearly universal praise of the crown prince over his reform efforts. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos' phone in 2018 is now being attributed to a Saudi prince, according to sources quoted by The Guardian. As recently as early 2019, Amazon planned to expand its e-commerce reach into Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and the company considered opening AWS data centers in the Crown kingdom.

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While AMI insisted it was tipped off about the affair by the estranged brother of Bezos's girlfriend, the investigation by the billionaire's own team found with "high confidence" that the Saudis had managed to "access" Bezos's phone and had "gained private information" about him. However, the prince is suspected of involvement in the murder of Khashoggi, which occurred at the Saudi embassy in Turkey.

And thirdly, it could cast a pall over the impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump, which officially began today. And the fact that the U.S. president has refused to accept his intelligence agencies' conclusion that bin Salman was directly involved in the assassination of Khashoggi has already raised countless eyebrows.

"Of course I don't want personal photos published, but I also won't participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks and corruption", Bezos wrote at the time. The company hasn't commented on the matter in the nine months since de Becker's accusation.

According to The Guardian's sources, Agnès Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur who investigates extrajudicial killings, has been made aware of the apparent hack by Saudi Arabia.

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