A United Nations report to be released Wednesday concludes that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) personally infected Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' phone with malware, allowing a massive amount of data to be stolen from his phone, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, confirming a report in The Guardian. The crown prince reportedly sent the world's richest man an infected video link over WhatsApp after the two exchanged contact information on MBS's tour of the U.S. in early 2018.
Remember this image? Jeff Bezos & Saudi crown prince MBS laughing together in 2018. Well, apparently, it was followed by a friendly Whatsapp exchange between the 2 men. Now it turns out, reports the Guardian, MBS used that Whatsapp exchange to hack Bezos's phone! Wow. Just wow. pic.twitter.com/CAI45ifaPI
- Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) January 21, 2020
Things evidently soured between Bezos and MBS when The Washington Post, owned by Bezos, hired Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi to write a column, and after the Post strongly criticized Saudi Arabia for murdering and dismembering Khashoggi in October 2018, the National Enquirer reported in January 2019 that Bezos was having an extramarital affair, publishing photos apparently hacked from his phone. At the time, Bezos' security consultant Gavin de Becker said "our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos' phone."
The Saudi Embassy dismissed the new reports that Saudi Arabia hacked Bezos' phone as "absurd," calling "for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out." Many of the responses slammed Saudi Arabia for its belatedly acknowledged murder of Khashoggi.
Literally the same people who said the accusation that Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi Embassy was absurd and paranoid. https://t.co/UGQDtDnGp3
- Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) January 22, 2020
Great idea. There was a respected Washington Post columnist who i would love to have investigate the matter but you killed him https://t.co/ynNJ7kg4z5
- Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 22, 2020
Wasn't there a Washington Post journalist who had good contacts throughout a Saudi Arabia who could have probed this? Oh wait. Never mind. You murdered him, dismembered the body and tried to cover up the crime. Also, pro tip: Hacking is a term you guys should eschew for a while. https://t.co/5K4bOzfE3d
- David Simon (@AoDespair) January 22, 2020
But there's a lot you could investigate about how MBS is running Saudi Arabia, if the Saudis were open to independent investigations.
GREAT IDEA!!! So in this case let us have an independent investigation on the torture of my sister @LoujainHathloul and other women's rights activists which the prosecutor had denied. https://t.co/22B8cibEVB
- Walid Alhathloul| وليد الهذلول (@WalidAlhathloul) January 22, 2020
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