The mobile phone of Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos was hacked in 2018 after he received an encrypted message from the WhatsApp account of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 5 months later, Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, with Prince Salman being a prime accused in the case.
According to Guardian, forensic analysis of the hacking has revealed that the message sent from a number used by Salman was a malicious file, which when opened, immediately extracted large amounts of data from Bezos’s phone.
Jeff Bezos and Mohd bin Salman were engaged in friendly exchanges for some time when the Amazon founder received this encrypted file from the Saudi Prince on May 1.
This was months prior to the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey in October 2018. Khashoggi was ambushed at the Saudi consulate, murdered and dismembered by a group of men directly linked to the Saudi Prince.
The Saudi government, after extensive measures to cover-up the murder, later admitted that it was planned conspiracy against Khashoggi.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has denied the claims that it had targeted Jeff Bezos’s phone. The Saudi embassy in the US has said, “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.”