This sounds . . . ominous:
The Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos had his mobile phone “hacked” in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, sources have told the Guardian.
The encrypted message from the number used by Mohammed bin Salman is believed to have included a malicious file that infiltrated the phone of the world’s richest man, according to the results of a digital forensic analysis.
This analysis found it “highly probable” that the intrusion into the phone was triggered by an infected video file sent from the account of the Saudi heir to Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post.
The two men had been having a seemingly friendly WhatsApp exchange when, on 1 May of that year, the unsolicited file was sent, according to sources who spoke to the Guardian on the condition of anonymity.
Large amounts of data were exfiltrated from Bezos’s phone within hours, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Guardian has no knowledge of what was taken from the phone or how it was used.
The extraordinary revelation that the future king of Saudi Arabia may have had a personal involvement in the targeting of the American founder of Amazon will send shockwaves from Wall Street to Silicon Valley.
On January 9, 2019, Bezos and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie, announced on Twitter their intent to divorce after a “long period” of separation. On April 4, 2019, the divorce was finalized, with Bezos keeping 75% of the couple’s Amazon stock and MacKenzie getting the remaining 25% ($35.6 billion) in Amazon stock. However, Bezos would keep all of the couple’s voting rights.
On February 7, 2019, Bezos published an online essay in which he accused American Media, Inc. owner David Pecker of “extortion and blackmail” for threatening to publish intimate photos of Bezos and Lauren Sánchez, if he did not stop his investigation into how his text messages and other photos had been leaked to the National Enquirer.
David Pecker is of course one of Donald Trump’s closest cronies.