Saudi involved in hacking of Bezos’ phone, U.N. report will say
Two U.N. officials are to report whether there is enough evidence showing that Saudi Arabia hacked Jeff Bezos’ phone.
The report will determine if both the kingdom and the United States should investigate, a person familiar with the matter said.
Claims emerged that his phone was probably hacked with a tainted video sent from a WhatsApp account belonging to Saudi’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
A report by FTI Consulting concluded that massive amounts of data began leaving Bezos’ phone about a month after the video was shared in mid-2018.
Outside experts consulted by the U.N. agreed that while the case was not airtight, the evidence was strong enough to warrant a fuller investigation.
Saudi Arabia’s U.S. embassy dismissed the report.
“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,” the embassy said on Twitter.
The report is set to worsen relations between the world’s richest man and the kingdom.
Their ties had soured following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, who was also a columnist for the Bezos’ owned Washington Post.
The relationship between the Amazon chief executive and the Saudi government had soured since early last year after he alluded to Saudi Arabia’s displeasure at the Washington Post’s coverage of the murder of Khashoggi.
Bezos’ security chief said at the time that Saudi had access to his phone and gained private information from it involving text messages between him and a former television anchor who the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper said Bezos was dating.
Saudi had said it had nothing to do with the reporting.
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