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Bezos hack: Saudi Arabia denies involvement


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Bezos hack: Saudi Arabia denies involvement

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The relationship between Jeff Bezos and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman soured after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder Saudi Arabia has denied that its crown prince was responsible for hacking Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ phone.A message from a phone number used by the prince has been implicated in the data breach,…

Bezos hack: Saudi Arabia denies involvement

Crown prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud and the founder Amazon Jeff Bezos.Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

The relationship between Jeff Bezos and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman soured after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder

Saudi Arabia has denied that its crown prince was responsible for hacking Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ phone.

A message from a phone number used by the prince has been implicated in the data breach, according to reports.

The kingdom’s US embassy said the stories were “absurd” and called for an investigation into them.

It was previously claimed the alleged hack was linked to the murder of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

As well as being the founder of online retail giant Amazon, Mr Bezos owns the Washington Post.

Mr Bezos’ phone was hacked after receiving a WhatsApp message sent from Mohammed bin Salman’s personal account, according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

The Financial Times reported that an investigation into the data breach found the billionaire’s phone started secretly sharing huge amounts of data after he received an encrypted video file from the prince.

The Twitter account of the kingdom’s US embassy issued an outright denial and called for the claims to be investigated.

Amazon did not immediately respond for a request for comment from the BBC.

The reports come after private information about Mr Bezos was leaked to the American tabloid the National Enquirer.

In February 2019 Mr Bezos accused the National Enquirer of “extortion and blackmail” after it published text messages between him and his girlfriend, former Fox television presenter Lauren Sanchez.

A month earlier he and MacKenzie Bezos, his wife of 25 years, announced that they planned to divorce having been separated for a “long period”.

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This is not the first time the kingdom has been linked to the hacking of Mr Bezos’ phone.

In March last year an investigator for the Amazon founder said Saudi Arabia was behind the hack and it had accessed his data.

Gavin de Becker was hired by Mr Bezos to find out how his private messages had been leaked to the National Enquirer.

Mr de Becker linked the hack to the Washington Post’s coverage of the murder of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

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