Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had his phone hacked following an exchange of messages between Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman on WhatsApp.
The hack has been said to have taken place in May of 2018. The two were exchanging pleasantries on the messaging app. According to The Guardian, who learned of the hack, Bezos later received a series of messages that appeared to be harmless. However, investigators learned that the messages contained code that was used to infiltrate Bezos’ phone to extract a large amount of data.
There has not been any firm confirmation as to what exactly was stolen from Bezos’ phone. Likewise, there is no concrete answer as to why Bezos was targeted in the first place.
The hack has raised a number of questions. In accordance with the hack, personal details, including text messages, revolving around Bezos’ divorce was leaked to the US tabloid outlet National Enquirer nine months after the hack took place.
Additionally, five months following the hack, Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist for the Bezos-owned Washington Post was murdered on October 2nd. One month later, the CIA declared Khashoggi’s death was an assassination ordered by Mohammed bin Salman.
The Guardian reached out to the Saudi embassy but was denied an official comment. Instead, the Saudi embassy posted a statement on Twitter, calling the allegations “absurd”.
Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind a hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos’ phone are absurd. We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out.
— Saudi Embassy (@SaudiEmbassyUSA) January 22, 2020