A groundbreaking investigation by The Guardian revealed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman personally sent a video to phone of Washington Post and Amazon owner Jeff Bezos in May 2018 through Whatsapp and successfully infiltrated large amounts of data from it.
Soon after the investigation was made public, many speculations began circling the Internet regarding the Saudi prince's motives. Some wondered if he might have been doing a favor for US president Donald Trump, who had been facing continuous criticism by the Washington Post.
About that hack. Here's our scoop: Amazon boss Jeff Bezos's phone 'hacked by Saudi crown prince' https://t.co/ksPaSTMpZB— Stephanie Kirchgaessner (@skirchy) January 21, 2020
News of Saudi involvement in hacking Jeff Bezos' personal phone started coming out in February of 2019 when intimate photos showing him with another woman were leaked. At the time, the scandal was considered to be a Saudi revenge scheme against the owner of the Washington Post, a publication that led an international campaign to investigate the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by MBS aides in October 2018.
Yet the new revelations from The Guardian sent shock waves around the world as it suggested that the crown prince personally sent a malicious video to Bezos during a conversation between the two, which was the source of the data hack.
MBS exchanged numbers with Bezos in March 2018 during a US tour—on the surface part of an effort to woo investors.— Alison Meuse (@AliTahmizian) January 22, 2020
But at the time, the Bezos-owned Washington Post was publishing columns directly critical of the crown prince, written by Jamal Khashoggi. https://t.co/vK6iRVcaIl
According to The Guardian, Jeff Bezos' phone was hacked five months before top aides to the Saudi crown prince were involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. This raised questions about MBS' motives for wanting access to sensitive and private information that could be used to blackmail the American businessman.
In the wake of this recent revelation, people on social media shared their concerns about the implications this could have on officials in other parts of the world, wondering if they too could have been targeted by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, especially Jared Kushner who is considered a close friend of MBS.
If Bezos was hacked by MBS via a WhatsApp, it seems logical to assume Jared Kushner is hacked too, right?— Lori Lane Rodriguez (@dogriguez) January 21, 2020
Re: Bezos being personally hacked by Saudi Arabia's crown prince MBS...— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) January 21, 2020
We know that Jared Kushner and MBS would exchange personal messages for years....via WhatsApp. Officials raised alarms about the security concerns. https://t.co/Bf8enOF8Nd
People have also started speculating whether there was a deeper cooperation between Trump and MBS, offering a theory that the US president might have asked the crown prince to obtain private information related to Jeff Bezos.
Trump may have requested this as a favor, as sane people know this president is vengeful & lawless.— mwy (@wwredpepper) January 21, 2020
"Bezos directed me to ‘spend whatever is needed’ to learn who may have been complicit in the scheme, and why they did it. That investigation is now complete.”
If the theory turns out to hold some truth, the consequences could be even more serious, especially that Bezos' Amazon is a US government contractor.
Did anyone ask MBS to hack Bezos?— Susan Solomon (@SusanSolomon) January 22, 2020
If so, could it have been Trump?
That would be alarming.
But also recall that Bezos’ Amazon is a government contractor.
If Trump asked a foreign leader to hack a gov contractor, there could be serious national security implications.
From its side, Saudi has denied the hacking allegations and its embassy in the US publicly described them as "absurd."
Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind a hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos' phone are absurd. We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out.— Saudi Embassy (@SaudiEmbassyUSA) January 22, 2020
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