Saudi Prince Allegedly Hacked World's Richest Man Jeff Bezos Using WhatsApp
The iPhone of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, was reportedly hacked in May 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message from the personal account of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Guardian newspaper revealed today. Citing unnamed sources familiar with digital forensic analysis of the breach, the newspaper claimed that a massive amount of data was exfiltrated from Bezos's phone within hours after he received a malicious video file from the Saudi prince.
The mysterious file was sent when crown prince Salman and Bezos were having a friendly WhatsApp conversation, and it's 'highly probable' that it exploited an undisclosed zero-day vulnerability of WhatsApp messenger to install malware on Bezos's iPhone. The Guardian said it didn't know what data was extracted from the phone, but the hack happened almost 9 months before an American tabloid newspaper published intimate photos and messages sent by Bezos, disclosing his extramarital affair that leads to a divorce from his wife of 25 years.
At that time, Jeff Bezos pointed out the business relationship between the tabloid newspaper and Saudi Arabia and also hinted that how furious the Saudis were with him for the Washington Post's coverage of the murder of its journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a strong critic of the Kingdom's rulers. Since Bezos also owns the Washington Post and the CIA claimed that Salman ordered Khashoggi's assassination, the relationship between the Amazon chief executive and the Saudi government soured immediately after that. The Saudi Arabia's U.S. Embassy, in a tweet, dismissed the Guardian report by calling it "absurd" and asked for an investigation.