Jeff Bezos phone hack linked to Saudi Arabian crown prince

International media widely reported this week that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos received an unexpected text message over WhatsApp from Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2018 which appears to have included a malware.

Details provided by the UN suggest that the malware originated from a private vendor, such as Israel’s NSO Group or the Italian Hacking Team. UN Special Rapporteurs David Kaye and Agnes Callamard have condemned the incident and issued a statement expressing their concerns that ‘this reported surveillance of Mr Bezos, allegedly through software developed and marketed by a private company and transferred to a government without judicial control of its use, is, if true, a concrete example of the harms that result from the unconstrained marketing, sale, and use of spyware’.