Any suggestion Saudi Arabia was in involved in the phone hacking of Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos was dismissed as “absurd” late Tuesday by the kingdom’s embassy in Washington.
The diplomatic rebuttal came as media reports linked the security breach to a WhatsApp message exchange from an account of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The alleged 2018 intrusion into the device led to the release of intimate images of Amazon founder Bezos.
“Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind a hacking of Mr Jeff Bezos’ phone are absurd,” the Saudi Arabian embassy said on its Twitter account.
“We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out.”
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
Late Tuesday, the Post reported a United Nations investigation will reveal Wednesday that Bezos’s cell phone was hacked after he got the WhatsApp message from an account purportedly belonging to Prince Mohammed, the kingdom’s de facto ruler.
Soon after the personal message was sent, a massive amount of data was extracted from Bezos’s phone, the Post said investigators concluded.
This is not the first time the kingdom has been linked to the hacking of Bezos’ phone, the BBC reports.
In March last year an investigator for the Amazon founder said Saudi Arabia was behind the hack and it had accessed his data.
Gavin de Becker was hired by Bezos to find out how his private messages had been leaked to the National Enquirer.
De Becker linked the hack to the Washington Post’s coverage of the murder of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
In December a Saudi court exhonerated Prince Mohammed’s top aides over the murder of Khashoggi, a verdict condemned globally as a travesty of justice but backed by Washington.
Both the CIA and United Nations special envoy Agnes Callamard have directly linked Prince Mohammed to the killing, a charge the kingdom vehemently denies.