The technical experts hired by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon concluded “with medium to high confidence that Bezos’ iPhone was compromised via malware sent from a WhatsApp account used by Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman,” according to the report by FTI Consulting, first reported by the online news site Vice.
This news caused a frenzy on social media with Pro-Saudi newspapers, government officials and public reacting furiously to the claims that their Crown Prince hacked Bezos smartphone.
Saudi authorities rejected the latest allegations.
“Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind the hacking of Mr Jeff Bezos’ phone are absurd,” the Saudi Arabian embassy said on its Twitter account.
“Absurd is exactly the right word”
— Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦 (@KSAmofaEN) January 22, 2020
On Thursday the hashtag #قاطعوا_منتجات_امازون (#BoycottAmazonproducts) trended in Saudi Arabia and was used 10,000 times.
The hashtag was initiated by a pro-government account that was trending on number one in Saudi Arabia was later suspended by Twitter.
The public showed their full support to their Crown Price with fifty accounts posted 1,400 of the tweets advocating the #BoycottAmazonproducts.
— رغـــد .. 🕊 (@Raghod501) January 23, 2020
Amazon has a history of racism and inhuman actions all over the world! So it’s not something weird to find out about how its founder is a racist and a tool used by some suspicious politicians!!!! pic.twitter.com/3exAKBpWxT
— نــــوال🎯Nawal🇸🇦 (@nawal_mbs) January 23, 2020
It’s ridiculous to accuse that, they became really weak, I pity them. https://t.co/w1BLj0ZUnx
— SARAH ALAZWARI (@sarahalazwari) January 23, 2020
— Lulwa..it’s me again (@Lulwa_926) January 23, 2020
He who transgresses, extends, and abuses us or our rulers, he has reaped himself and will regret it.#BoycottAmazonproducts
— 🇸🇦عبدالرحمن الخديدي🇸🇦 (@ErfmZoDkiUbJSQR) January 23, 2020
— Mohammed E. AlMalki (@malime0a) January 23, 2020
However, Ben Nimmo, a disinformation analyst, suggests that many of these accounts showcase signs of inauthentic activity.
The 50 most active accounts on the Arabic and English hashtags contributed just over 1,400 tweets, so about 1/6 of all the traffic.
— Ben Nimmo (@benimmo) January 23, 2020
According to an article titled “Jeff Bezos, fleeing from sin using accusation” published by Okaz, a popular newspaper suggests that Bezos’ extramarital affair with Lauren Sanchez, his now girlfriend is the real reason for the alleged accusation.
There is speculation that the Saudi hack is linked to the National Enquirer tabloid’s publishing of Bezos’s intimate texts and photos to his girlfriend in 2019.
This is Bezos’s attempts to distort the Saudi image and The Washington Post which he owns is leading this unfair campaign against Saudi Arabia and their crown prince.
This article originally published on Business Insider.