How malicious WhatsApp file sent from Saudi Crown Prince reportedly hacked Jeff Bezos' phone
Washington, Jan 22: Amazon founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jeff Bezos mobile phone was hacked in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message which was apparently received from the personal account of Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, The Guardian reported.
The report citing digital forensic analysis suggests that the encrypted message from the account used by Mohammed bin Salman, or 'MBS' as he is commonly referred to, is believed to have included a malicious file which infiltrated Bezos' phone which collected large amounts of data.
The Guardian, however, said it didn't know what data was extracted from the phone, but the report comes about a year after the surprise announcement that Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, would divorce after 25 years of marriage.
Within hours, large amounts of data were taken from the phone of the world's richest person. It is unclear what kind of data was stolen and how it was used.
Bezos did have a dinner meeting with Mohammed bin Salman after which both of them exchanged their numbers. Bezos then received a video file from a number which was linked to Saudi Crown Prince.
Sources told The Guardian on condition of anonymity that the message with the unsolicited file had been received on May 1, 2018, when the two were having a seemingly friendly exchange on the instant messaging application.
This comes at a time when Mohammed bin Salman is attempting to lure investors from across the world to invest in the oil-rich kingdom in a bid to transform and diversify Saudi Arabia's economy. He is the first in line to the Saudi throne.
However, this isn't the first time reports of Bezos' data being hacked has come into light. Last year, Gavin Becker, Bezos' chief security officer had also said that Saudis may be behind it.