Report: Saudi crown prince MBS implicated in Bezos phone hacking

Report: Saudi crown prince MBS implicated in Bezos phone hacking

Jeff Bezos’ phone was hacked in 2018 after he received a WhatsApp message from an account apparently owned by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), UN investigators will say in a report Wednesday, per the Washington Post.

What they’re saying: UN special rapporteurs Agnès Callamard and David Kaye announced on Twitter they would release a public statement in the morning “in which we address these very serious hacking allegations.”

  • Kaye linked to an article by the Guardian, which first reported Tuesday that the crown prince had been directly implicated in the alleged hacking. Axios has contacted the UN for comment.

Why it matters: The alleged security breach of the owner of Amazon and The Washington Post, whose columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in October 2018 in an assassination linked to MBS, comes months after Bezos’ security consultant alleged in a Daily Beast article that Saudi Arabia took data from the billionaire’s phone, saying “it’s clear that MBS considers The Washington Post to be a major enemy.”

  • Per the Financial Times, which reviewed the new evidence, the latest forensic analysis “is the first to directly implicate a WhatsApp account” used by MBS.

(Of note: FT notes the pair’s relationship deteriorated following Khashoggi’s killing. MBS has denied involvement in the journalist’s assassination, despite the CIA concluding with “high confidence” and Callamard finding there was “credible evidence” that he was responsible.)

Source: Axios

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