Saudi Arabia calls for probe into ‘absurd’ reports of Bezos phone hacking

Saudi Arabian officials on Tuesday called media reports that the nation hacked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos through a WhatsApp message from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “absurd” and vowed to investigate the claims.

“Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind a hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos’ phone are absurd,” the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., tweeted. “We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out.”

The Guardian reported Tuesday that forensic investigators ruled it was “highly probable” that an encrypted message from the crown prince had contained a malicious file that was able to steal data from Bezos’s phone after a conversation between the two in May 2018.

Nine months after the message was reportedly sent, the National Enquirer published private communications indicating Bezos had engaged in an extramarital affair.

While the tabloid has claimed its source was a family member of Bezos’s girlfriend, a team of investigators hired by the CEO have expressed “high confidence” the Saudis were responsible, according to the outlet. 

The Financial Times, which confirmed some elements of The Guardian’s story, reported that a forensic analysis conducted on behalf of Bezos was completed by the business advisory firm FTI Consulting.

A spokesperson for FTI told the newspaper that the firm does not “comment on, confirm or deny client engagements or potential engagements.” A spokesman for Bezos declined to comment for the report but said he was “co-operating with the authorities.”

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