Saudis get dragged for requesting an investigation of 'absurd' claims crown prince hacked Jeff Bezos' phone

Peter Weber

A United Nations report to be released Wednesday concludes that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) personally infected Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' phone with malware, allowing a massive amount of data to be stolen from his phone, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, confirming a report in The Guardian. The crown prince reportedly sent the world's richest man an infected video link over WhatsApp after the two exchanged contact information on MBS's tour of the U.S. in early 2018.

Things evidently soured between Bezos and MBS when The Washington Post, owned by Bezos, hired Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi to write a column, and after the Post strongly criticized Saudi Arabia for murdering and dismembering Khashoggi in October 2018, the National Enquirer reported in January 2019 that Bezos was having an extramarital affair, publishing photos apparently hacked from his phone. At the time, Bezos' security consultant Gavin de Becker said "our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos' phone."

The Saudi Embassy dismissed the new reports that Saudi Arabia hacked Bezos' phone as "absurd," calling "for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out." Many of the responses slammed Saudi Arabia for its belatedly acknowledged murder of Khashoggi.

But there's a lot you could investigate about how MBS is running Saudi Arabia, if the Saudis were open to independent investigations.

Read more on how President Trump and Amazon Web Services fit in to this saga at The Washington Post.

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