The Saudi Crown Prince Allegedly Did Hack Jeff Bezos's Phone

Illustration for article titled The Saudi Crown Prince Allegedly Did Hack Jeff Bezoss Phone
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A phone hack that unleashed Jeff Bezos’s dick pics and sexts upon the world was allegedly committed by the Saudi Crown Prince himself, according to a new report in the Guardian. Some folks floated that theory last year, and it seems they were correct.

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The outlet says Bezos’s phone was hacked on May 1, 2018 via a video file sent from a WhatsApp number traced back to Mohammed bin Salman. Apparently, Bezos and Mohammed bin Salman were chatting with each other on WhatsApp when Mohammed bin Salman allegedly sent the file, which the Guardian says likely contained “malware that penetrated Bezos’s mobile phone and exfiltrated a large amount of data within hours.” The Washington Post says a U.N. investigation will confirm the Guardian’s report on Wednesday.

It’s not clear exactly what data the alleged hack might have retrieved, but it happened just under a year before the National Enquirer published sexts between Bezos and Laura Sanchez, a former anchor for a Fox affiliate with whom Bezos was conducting an extramarital affair. Bezos accused the Saudi government of hacking his phone, and his security consultant, Gavin de Becker, claimed the Saudis were “intent on harming Jeff Bezos since . . . the Post began its relentless coverage” of the October 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

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But the U.N. and Guardian report place the hacking several months ahead of Khashoggi’s murder, which makes this plot line extra wild.

Per the Guardian:

Saudi experts – dissidents and analysts – told the Guardian they believed Bezos was probably targeted because of his ownership of the Post and its coverage of Saudi Arabia. Khashoggi’s critical columns about Mohammed bin Salman and his campaign of repression against activists and intellectuals rankled the crown prince and his inner circle.

Andrew Miller, a Middle East expert who served on the national security council under President Obama, said if Bezos had been targeted by the crown prince, it reflected the “personality-based” environment in which the crown prince operates.

“He probably believed that if he got something on Bezos it could shape coverage of Saudi Arabia in the Post. It is clear that the Saudis have no real boundaries or limits in terms of what they are prepared to do in order to protect and advance MBS, whether it is going after the head of one of the largest companies in the world or a dissident who is on their own.”

The Financial Times says Bezos got Mohammed bin Salman’s number at a dinner in Los Angeles in the spring of 2018. Bezos probably regrets it now.

The UN will release its full report on Wednesday.

Night blogger, author of GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE YOU HATE.

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DISCUSSION

Can I ask why this isn’t being covered as revenge porn (or the political/corporate version of such), as it would be if the stolen images were of a woman? Bezos is scum, but this is a fucked up sexual violation, and it’s disturbing that it’s not being reported that way.