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Jeff Bezos' phone was hacked after message from Saudi crown prince, report says

The breach was likely triggered by an infected video file sent via WhatsApp. It's unclear what was taken from the Amazon CEO's phone.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post. 

James Martin/CNET
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Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, reportedly was the victim of a phone hack in 2018 after he received a WhatsApp message from the personal account of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. A digital forensic analysis found the breach was likely triggered by an infected video file sent to Bezos, The Guardian reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources. 

Large amounts of data were reportedly stolen from Bezos' phone in the hack, according to the UK-based Guardian. It's unclear what was taken. 

Later Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that a United Nations investigation set for release Wednesday will likewise state that Bezos' phone was hacked after getting a WhatsApp message from an account purportedly belonging to bin Salman. 

The Saudi embassy in Washington, DC, didn't respond to a request for comment but sent a tweet denying involvement. 

Gavin de Becker, an investigator hired by Bezos after private messages about Bezos' extramarital relationship were leaked to a tabloid, said last March that Saudi Arabia had hacked the Amazon chief's phone. De Becker suggested at the time that the hack was linked to the 2018 assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident who lived in the US and worked as a Post columnist. De Becker didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Originally published Jan. 21.
Update, Jan. 22: Adds report of UN investigation and tweet from Saudi embassy.