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Saudi Crown Prince Hacked Amazon Chief Jeff Bezos's Phone: Report

Digital Forensic Analysis Suggested The Data Theft From The Bezo’s Phone In 2018 Started With An Infected Video File Sent Via WhatsApp From The Personal Account Of Mohammed Bin Salman.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Fayiq Wani | Updated on: 22 Jan 2020, 09:26:51 AM
The report comes a year after Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced that they would divorce after 25 years of marriage.

The report comes a year after Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced that they would divorce after 25 years of marriage. (Photo Credit: File Photos)

New Delhi:

E-commerce giant Amazon’s chief executive Jeff Bezos’s mobile phone was hacked after receiving a message from the Saudi Arabian crown prince. The Guardian newspaper citing sources digital forensic analysis suggested the data theft from the Bezo’s phone in 2018 started with an infected video file sent via WhatsApp from the personal account of Mohammed bin Salman.

The report comes a year after Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced that they would divorce after 25 years of marriage. Based on intimate text messages, the National Enquirer subsequently disclosed an extramarital affair between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, a former television anchor.

However, clearing the air on this Bezos published a blog post accusing the tabloid of threatening to publish more embarrassing text messages and pictures unless he publicly affirmed that there was no outside force behind the tabloid's coverage.

Bezos’s security consultant Gavin de Becker later said, he believed the Saudi Arabian government had accessed Bezos's phone before the massive expose.

Bezos also accused the publisher of the National Enquirer of “blackmail” after it threatened to publish intimate photographs sent by the billionaire to his mistress if he did not cease an investigation into the newspaper’s alleged links with Saudi Arabia.

Bezos also raised the publisher’s links to Saudi Arabia—whose Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is accused of directing the murder of Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

“Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten,” Bezos wrote in the post, which was entitled “No thank you, Mr. Pecker” and included copies of emails from AMI.

“Be assured, no real journalists ever propose anything like what is happening here,” he added. 

Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Divorce

Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie finalized their divorce to the tune of a $38-billion settlement.  Under the agreement, MacKenzie Bezos, 49, will receive approximately 19.7 million Amazon.com shares, giving her a four percent stake in the company valued at USD 38.3 billion.

MacKenzie has also promised to donate half her fortune to charity, joining the ranks of the world's ultra-wealthy philanthropists as a signatory of the Giving Pledge. The personal life of Jeff Bezos was thrust into the spotlight with the announcement in January that he and his wife were divorcing after 25 years of marriage and the revelation by the National Enquirer that he had been having an affair with a former news anchor, Lauren Sanchez.

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos married in 1993 and have four children. Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in their Seattle garage in 1994 and turned it into a colossus that dominates online retail.

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First Published : 22 Jan 2020, 09:25:02 AM