After hacking report, Bezos tweets image from Jamal Khashoggi's memorial
The phone of the world's richest man, Jeff Bezos, was allegedly hacked by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, an explosive report in The Guardian claimed yesterday. The report made headlines worldwide, but Amazon, the company Jeff owns, largely remained quiet. However, Jeff tweeted an image from Jamal Khashoggi's memorial a few hours ago, perhaps to assert that the murdered journalist is in his thoughts.
Khashoggi, a journalist heavily critical of Riyadh's dictatorial schemes, worked with The Washington Post, that Bezos owns. In 2018, the dissident scribe entered the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul to collect some documents and was murdered by the Kingdom's hitmen. After pressure from the United Nations, Saudi finally admitted some rogue agents killed Khashoggi, but human rights experts said the murder was sanctioned by MbS.
Notably, last year, Bezos made a surprise visit to the spot where Khashoggi was killed and hugged the deceased journalist's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. "No one should ever have to endure what you did. It is unimaginable and you need to know that you are in our hearts. We are here and you are not alone," Bezos told Cengiz last October at the memorial service.
About the alleged hacking of Bezos's phone, UN Special rapporteur, Agnes Callamard, who is probing Khashoggi's murder, said MbS wanted to "intimidate" Bezos. "There was a concerted effort to hack into the system of people who are considered as a threat to MbS," she said. Callamard and David Kaye, the expert on freedom of expression, want an investigation into the hacking.
In fact, on November 8, 2018, Bezos received an unsolicited message from MbS, containing the image of the woman with whom Bezos had an affair. He split from his wife MacKenzie Sheri Bezos in 2019. MbS's sardonic text apparently read: Arguing with a woman is like reading the Software Licence Agreement. In the end, you have to ignore everything and click I agree.
Meanwhile, according to experts the alleged hack took place on May 1, 2018, when Bezos received an MP4 file from a WhatsApp account used by MbS. Within an hour, "massive, unprecedented exfiltration of data" happened from Bezos's phone. The data had information about Bezos's personal life, which was leaked to tabloid National Enquirer. The billionaire later accused the portal of attempting to blackmail him.
Saudi, on its part, has denied the allegations. "Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind the hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos' phone are absurd," the Saudi Arabian embassy tweeted yesterday. And Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said, "The idea that the crown prince would hack Jeff Bezos's phone is absolutely silly."