Senator probes Jeff Bezos on alleged hack by Saudi crown prince

A U.S. Senator is asking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for more information about an alleged hack, citing a “growing trend” of illicit surveillance by the Saudi government.

Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, sent a letter to Bezos with questions about reports that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, hacked into the American executive’s cell phone using a WhatsApp message.

Wyden asked Bezos whether he has any reason to believe that the crown prince hacked into his cell phone and requested a copy of any reports that security experts produced on the tech leader’s behalf.

“I am particularly interested in the technical details, including indicators of compromise from the hack, which could help the United States Government, businesses and independent researchers discover who else may have been targeted and take steps to protect themselves,” Wyden’s letter says.

Bezos enlisted security consultants to find out how private messages between himself and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez leaked to The National Enquirer last year. Gavin de Becker, the lead investigator, wrote a March 2019 op-ed in The Daily Beast claiming the Saudi government hacked Bezos’ phone.

This week, The Guardian reported the crown prince himself was behind the hack. The United Nations has called for an investigation into the incident.