Saudi Arabia has denied reports that the phone of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was hacked by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The clarification came after some media reports linked the security breach to a message on WhatsApp from the personal account of Mohammed bin Salman. According to digital forensic analysis, the encrypted message from his account was carrying a malicious file. The analysis found that there was a high probability of intrusion being caused by an infected video file. The malicious file infiltrated the phone of the Washington Post owner as a result of which some of his intimate images were leaked. Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered later the same year. He was a contributing columnist of the Washington Post.
Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington termed these reports absurd and called for an investigation so that all the facts can come out in open. The two seemed to have been exchanging friendly WhatsApp messages till May 1 when the infiltrated message was sent. Amazon CEO hired Gavin de Becker & Associates to investigate the matter and his private photos find their way to the National Enquirer. National Enquirer had reported about the extramarital affair of Bezos and the report led to his divorce. de Becker finished the investigation in March and concluded that his phone was hacked by Saudi Arabian authorities to access personal data.
The reports that the Crown Prince had personal involvement in the incident send shockwaves from Silicon Valley to Wall Street. This revelation may let to renewed scrutiny about what Mohammed bin Salman and his close associates were doing in the months prior to the killing of the journalist. Saudi Arabia has earlier insisted that Khashoggi was killed during a rouge operation. Later, a secret trial by a Saudi court convicted eight people for their involvement in the murder. A Saudi court also exonerated top aides of the Crown Prince over the murder. The verdict was condemned globally. Both the United Nations and the CIA have linked Mohammed bin Salman to the killing.