Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was targeted and successfully hacked through WhatsApp from Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to a brand-new report from The Guardian Pointing out the results of a digital forensic analysis, The Guardian states the hack, which occurred in May 2018, targeted unknown contents on Bezos’ individual cellphone.
According to the report, Bezos and the Saudi prince were having a friendly exchange over WhatsApp when the crown prince’s account sent out a strange video file, after which Bezos’ device was jeopardized and big amounts of data were moved off the phone, The Guardian reports. A documentary entitled The Dissident which premieres on Friday states that the video sent out to Bezos’ phone took advantage of a WhatsApp vulnerability found in Might 2018 to inject Pegasus spyware, The Washington Post reports. Successor apparent to the Saudi throne, Prince Mohammed was embroiled in 2015 in the debate over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and has actually faced growing outcry over his country’s civil rights record.
” Current media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind a hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos’ phone are unreasonable,” Saudi Arabia’s United States embassy reacted in a tweet denying The Guardian‘s reporting. “We require an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the truths out.”
The alleged occurrence is especially noteworthy because of a subsequent breach of Bezos’ personal information less than a year later on. In February 2019, Bezos openly accused the National Enquirer in a bombshell Medium post of trying to blackmail him with text messages and nude photos exposing information of his prominent extramarital affair.
Reports of the affair published in the tabloid paper a month earlier exposed why he and his long time wife MacKenzie Bezos were divorcing, leading Jeff to form an investigative team to discover how he was jeopardized. Bezos’ security chief, Gavin de Becker, in the future recommended the Saudi government contributed in getting the information, and de Becker also floated the possibility that the Saudi government was a source for the National Enquirer‘s story.
The Washington Post covered the Khashoggi murder extensively and the CIA ultimately identified the murder was personally ordered by the crown prince himself, in spite of the various denials and a suspect trial that eventually founded guilty eight men for the criminal activity. Some professionals believe hacking Bezos might have been a way to gain utilize over the chief executive due to the Post‘s typically crucial coverage of the kingdom, that included columns from Khashoggi himself prior to the reporter’s death.
” He most likely believed that if he got something on Bezos, it might shape protection of Saudi Arabia in The Post,” Andrew Miller, a specialist on the Middle East and a previous national security advisor in the Obama administration, told The Guardian “It is clear that the Saudis have no genuine limits or limits in terms of what they are prepared to do in order to secure and advance [Mohammed bin Salman], whether it is pursuing the head of one of the biggest companies on the planet or a dissident who is on their own.”
Update, January 22 nd, 9.15 PM ET: Included reaction from Saudi embassy and reference of Pegasus spyware.