Jeff Bezos phone Hacked allegedly by Saudi crown prince
Experts from the United Nations have demanded an investigation into the hacked phone of Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon and Washington Post. David Kaye and Agnes Callamard, who are the UN special rapporteurs, said they had information that points to the possible involvement of Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince.
The cyber-attack in 2018 was preceded by alleged threats of National Enquirer to publish his intimate photos.
Callamard and Kaye said they believe that the hack was done to silence The Washington Post’s stories on Saudi Arabia. They urged the US and other authorities to conduct an immediate investigation.
Their recommendation is not binding, but according to The Wall Street Journal, an investigation is underway.
Callamard and Kaye have based their call for an investigation based on the 17-page forensic report that is prepared by FTI Consulting. According to the report, a malicious video file was sent from the WhatsApp account of the crown prince on May 1, 2018, to hijack the iPhone used by Jeff Bezos.
Further, the report mentioned that within hours of receiving the video file, the phone began behaving abnormally and the level of outgoing data jumped by nearly 300 times. FTI Consulting has denied commenting on this story.
The kingdom’s reputation with foreign powers and investors is at further risk as these allegations could damage the relations between Saudi and Bezos.
However, Prince Mohammed has denied his involvement and said that the killing was carried out by rogue operatives. Meanwhile, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, who is the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, has dismissed the allegations of Prince Mohammed’s involvement in Bezos’s phone hack. Saudi Arabia’s embassy in the US has also dismissed the allegations.
Callamard and Kaye are not UN officials but independent watchdogs and they have released their findings in a statement. They said that software that is made by Italian spyware maker Hacking Team or Israeli company NSO Group could have been used to hack the phone of Bezos.
However, NSO Group said that their technology cannot be used on the US numbers, while representatives from Hacking Team were unavailable for comments.