Investigations showed that just a few months before the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018, Amazon billionaire owner Jeff Bezos was targeted by hackers. Specifically, Jeff Bezos appears to have received a message from Prince Saudarava ‘s personal account, Mohammed bin Salman, through the WhatsApp application.
That message concealed a malicious file, and in particular a video, that infected the Amazon mobile phone owner. Hackers seem to have taken advantage of the seemingly good relationship of the two powerful men reflected in their WhatsApp communication, which was shaken, as was reasonable, after sending the malicious file. The result of Jeff Bezos’s cellphone buzz was that a significant amount of data was leaked in just a few hours, though it was unclear what information was stolen or how it was used. Prince Saudarawa‘s involvement in the message that has “hacked” the personal data of the billionaire owner of Amazon is causing a backlash, which is likely to intensify if it is verified. One of the scenarios being heard is that Saudi Arabian prince Mohammed bin Salman was motivated to “cheat” Bezos after publicly expressing his desire to attract more Western investors in Saudi Arabia, aiming at the economic transformation of the kingdom, which struck a chord with critics (one of whom was Khashoggi) and his opponents.
This revelation is likely to raise difficult questions for the kingdom about the circumstances in which American newspapers collected and published detailed information on Jeff Bezos’ privacy – including his personal messages – nine months later.
It could also lead to thorough scrutiny of what the Saudi prince and his inner circle did just months before Khashoggi’s assassination, five months after Jeff Bezos’s alleged mockery.
Saudi Arabia had previously denied that it targeted Bezos’ phone and insisted that Khashoggi’s murder was the result of a “ruthless business”. Eight people were also convicted in a secret trial in Saudi Arabia for involvement in the killing. This trial has been criticized as a scam by human rights experts. The digital forensic experts began to consider the Bezos phone for details of the private life. The story, involving his involvement in an extramarital affair, kicked off a race by his security team to reveal how Jeff Bezos’ personal messages were even found in signs a supermarket owned by American Media Inc (AMI).
Research by the billionaire’s team has found credible sources that the Saudi’s managed to access Bezos’ phone through a message and extract personal information.
The analysis of Bezos’ phone and indications that it had begun “hacking” through an infected file coming from Prince Saudarava’s account has been reviewed by a UN special rapporteur, Agnès Callamard.
Callamard, whose investigation into Khashoggi’s murder showed that the prince and other Saudi officials had been responsible for the killing, continued to investigate the murder but declined to comment on Bezos’s case.
Saudi experts said Jeff Bezos may have been targeted because he owns the Washington Post and its corresponding coverage in Saudi Arabia. Khashoggi’s critical columns about Mohammed bin Salman and his repression campaign against activists and intellectuals displeased the prince and his inner circle.
The Andrew Miller, expert on the Middle East who served in the National Security Council under the presidency of Obama, stated inter alia that the Saudis do not really have limits to what they are willing to do to protect and promote the MBS, whether it be the head of a from the biggest companies in the world or for a dissident.
Finally, the possibility that the head of one of America’s top corporations was targeted by Saudi Arabia could be a White House dilemma as US President Donald Trump and his groom, Jared Kushner, were closely linked to the prince. Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that US military findings showed that Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Khashoggi.