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Ryad denies hacking Amazon boss Jeff Bezos' phone - France 24

2020-01-22T10:40:19.440Z

Ryad denies hacking Amazon boss Jeff Bezos' phone



Washington (AFP)

The Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington on Tuesday denied the kingdom's involvement in the hacking of the phone of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, after the publication of press articles questioning a WhatsApp message sent from the prince's account Saudi heir Mohammed ben Salmane.

This intrusion into the device of the founder of Amazon, committed in 2018, led to the publication of intimate images of Mr. Bezos, owner of the Washington Post who employed as columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist murdered the same year at the consulate Saudi in Istanbul.

"The recent articles suggesting that the Kingdom is behind the hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos' phone are absurd," the Saudi Embassy said on its Twitter account.

"We are asking for an investigation into these allegations so that all the light can be shed on these facts," she added.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday evening that the United Nations would publish a report on Wednesday claiming that Mr. Bezos' phone had been hacked after receiving a WhatsApp message from an account attributed to Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the kingdom.

Shortly after receiving the message, a large amount of data was extracted from Mr. Bezos' phone, according to the Washington Post.

The Guardian previously claimed that a message from the number used by the prince was suspected of carrying an infected file that corrupted the phone, according to a digital investigation.

The two men had a seemingly friendly exchange when the junk file was sent, sources quoted by the Guardian said.

Mr. Bezos hired Gavin from Becker & Associates to find out how private messages and photographs got to the National Enquirer. The revelation by this tabloid newspaper of information on an affair of the boss of Amazon had led to his divorce.

In March, de Becker had already implicated the Saudi authorities. "Our investigators and several experts concluded with a high degree of confidence that the Saudis had access to Mr. Bezos' phone, and gathered private information," he said on the Daily Beast website.

But he did not specifically identify the person responsible for the hacking in the Saudi government, or give details of what had allowed him to reach this conclusion.

In December a Saudi court exonerated the entourage of Mohammed bin Salman from all responsibility for the murder of Khashoggi, a verdict widely decried as a travesty of justice in the world, with the exception of Washington.

Both the CIA and the United Nations Special Envoy Agnes Callamard directly linked Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the murder, which the kingdom vehemently denies.

© 2020 AFP

Source: france24

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