Jeff Bezos’ phone was reportedly hacked after he and the current crown prince of Saudi, Mohammed bin Salman, had a chat over WhatsApp. While the messages that were sent to Bezos directly from the prince himself seemed innocent at first, forensics suggest otherwise. A video that contained a code responsible for the hack on Bezos, came from one of Salman’s numbers.
Gavin de Becker, a security consultant for Bezos, suggested that the Saudi government could have had access to Bezos’ phone before the news of his extramarital affair went public. Though he did not provide explicit proof and said that it came from the company’s experts and investigators. He cited Bezos-owned Washington Post’s tough coverage of the murder of investigative journalist Khashoggi by the Saudi regime and the relationship between Enquirer(the tabloid that exposed Jeff’s affair) to be the main reason for why Saudi government might have wanted to harm Jeff’s image.
Saudi embassy responded by calling the allegations “absurd”, a statement which was referenced by Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
It’s unclear if the hack made any company data from Amazon vulnerable, since Amazon has decided to keep mum about the whole ordeal ever since it came out. However, experts like Bastien Bobe, an analyst at cybersecurity firm Lookout think that the data could have been at risk and said “It’s unclear whether his phone had more, privileged access to information from his companies. That would not be in line with security practices and risk mitigation at companies though. But technically it would be feasible for that technology to access the data.”
United Nations has shown grave concern for the matter and has asked for an “immediate investigation by US and other relevant authorities, including investigation of the continuous, multi-year, direct and personal involvement of the Crown Prince in efforts to target perceived opponents.”
The U.N. experts also said, “The circumstances and timing of the hacking and surveillance of Bezos also strengthen support for further investigation by US and other relevant authorities of the allegations that the Crown Prince ordered, incited, or, at a minimum, was aware of planning for but failed to stop the mission that fatally targeted Mr. Khashoggi in Istanbul.”