Saudi crown prince hacked into Jeff Bezos' phone during friendly WhatsApp conversation: Guardian

by Jordyn Pair · Jan 21st, 2020 5:17 pm

Last Updated Jan 21st, 2020 at 5:36 pm

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos had his mobile phone "hacked" in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, according to sources for The Guardian.

The encrypted message is believed to have used a malicious video file to access Bezos' phone. The two men had had a seemingly friendly exchange over the app when the video file was sent.

Large amounts of data were reportedly taken from Bezos' phone, although it is yet unclear what was taken or how it was used.

The data breach could cast suspicions on Saudi Arabia's claims that the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a reporter from the Washington Post, was a "rogue operation," as the government previously claimed. Khashoggi was killed in October 2018, five months after the hack. Bezos is also the owner of The Washington Post.

The revelation is also likely to call into question whether the Saudis were behind the hack that found Bezos' text messages and intimate details of his life on the cover of U.S. tabloid the National Enquirer, published nine months after the alleged hack.