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Saudi foreign minister: Claim Crown Prince hacked Bezos phone 'absurd'

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 22, 2020 - Duration: 01:08s

Saudi foreign minister: Claim Crown Prince hacked Bezos phone 'absurd'

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister dismissed allegations that the crown prince may have been involved in a plot to hack the phone of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos as “absurd” on Wednesday, seeking to head off a dispute that could damage the kingdom’s reputation.

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Saudi foreign minister: Claim Crown Prince hacked Bezos phone 'absurd'

Cybersecurity experts hired by Bezos, concluded his phone was probably infiltrated by a video file sent from a WhatsApp account purportedly belonging to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2018, according to a person familiar with the matter.

They said the device began leaking massive amounts of data about a month afterwards, the source said.

However, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud dismissed the charges.

"I think 'absurd' is exactly the right word," he told Reuters in an interview in Davos.

"The idea that the crown prince would hack Jeff Bezos' phone is absolutely silly." The allegations could nonetheless further damage relations between tech tycoon Bezos and Riyadh, and risk harming the kingdom's reputation with foreign powers and investors.

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