• Saudi Arabia's crown prince remain silent amid allegations he stole information from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' mobile phone
  • Mohammed bin Salman may have implanted a malicious file in Bezos' phone that stole content
  • Steamy text messages and scandalous images of Bezos and his girlfriend were leaked months after the hack

Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman faces international censure after reports claim it was a WhatsApp message from his personal account to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that led to the implanting of a malicious file that later stole the contents of Bezos' mobile phone.

Digital forensic analysis of the encrypted message from the number used by bin Salman found it “highly probable” that the cyberattack against Bezos in 2019 was delivered by an infected video file from the crown prince.

News reports narrate both men were having a WhatsApp exchange on May 1, 2018 when the malicious file was sent. This virus later stole large amounts of data from Bezos’s phone within hours, said reliable sources cited by The Guardian. It's not known exactly what was stolen or how it was used but the loss of this data followed a few months later by the National Enquirer's attempt to blackmail Bezos.

Some of these stolen steamy text messages and "dick pics," or scandalous images, of Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, "mysteriously" found their way to the tabloid, National Enquirer, which later attempted to blackmail Bezos. The National Enquirer threatened to publish the lewd photos and salacious text messages if The Washington Post, which Bezos owns, didn’t stop investigating who the source of the pictures is.

The Washington Post also employed the late journalsist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered Oct. 2, 2018 on orders of bin Salman for writing stories critical of him.

Instead of giving-in to this extortion attempt, Bezos published the National Enquirer's threats and sued. He also had his security team investigate the phone hack.

In April 2019, the National Enquirer was sold to another company by its parent firm, American Media Inc., due to falling sales and the fallout from the Bezos and other scandals.

Analysts said this bombshell exposé bin Salman might well have had a personal hand in hacking Bezos' phone might affect the former's efforts to lure more American investments to his faltering kingdom whose vast oil wealth is being rapidly depleted.

Saudi experts believe Bezos was probably targeted by bin Salman because of his ownership of the Post and its coverage of the crown prince and Saudi Arabia. Khashoggi continued to criticize bin Salman and his campaign of repression against activists and intellectuals, and this apparently infuriated the crown prince enough to order the journalist's murder in Turkey.

The listing forms the linchpin of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ambitious plans to overhaul the oil-reliant economy
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ambitious plans to overhaul the oil-reliant economy resulted in the public listing of the world's largest oil producer Aramco, which is now diverging to shale gas production with major consequences for the global oil industry and even regional geopolitical situation. AFP / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU