Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos ’ cellphone was very probably “hacked” in 2018 after he received a video via WhatsApp from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to an investigation reported in British newspaper The Guardian on Tuesday.
United Nations experts plan to release a public statement Wednesday morning addressing the allegations.
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The Guardian reported that Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, received the video from the Saudi leaderâs personal mobile phone through WhatsApp in 2018. The encrypted message reportedly contained an infected video file. According to a Bezos-ordered forensic analysis it is “highly probable” that the video prompted Bezosâ phone to start sending unusually large volumes of data, according the Guardian
Agnès Callamard, the UN official in charge of investigating extrajudicial killings who is leading the UN investigation into Khashoggiâs murder, has reviewed the Bezos-ordered forensic analysis, according to the Guardian report
“Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind a hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos ’ phone are absurd,” the Saudi Embassy said on Twitter. “We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out.”
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The alleged hack took place five months before the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi , a critic of the Saudi government, was savagely killed by Saudi government agents last year in the country’s consulate in Istanbul
A U.N. report last summer said it was inconceivable that the prince, who basically controls all levers of state in Saudi Arabia, did not know of the killing in advance, and recommended an investigation, which is underway The CIA has concluded that the prince ordered Khashoggiâs killing, according to The New York Times
Bezos’ security consultant, Gavin de Becker in an opinion article published by The Daily Beast in March had previously accused the Saudi government go hacking Bezosâ phone and said Saudi authorities targeted him because he owned The Washington Post from where Khashoggi was voicing his dissent of the Saudi leadership. The Post also subsequently reported proactively on Khashoggiâs murder
Amazon and Bezos’ lawyer at Boies Schiller Flexner have declined to comment beyond saying that Bezos is cooperating with continuing investigations, the New York Times said