Saudi crown prince behind hack on Amazon CEO

RIYADH -The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions has declared that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince was “the most likely source” of the hacking of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s phone. “The company [FTI Consulting] responsible for forensic investigation has been extremely thorough and robust because they have done this investigation as part of an FBI investigation,” Agnes Callamard told TRT World late Thursday. Callamard stressed that her team went through the report with their own experts and reached the conclusion that Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad bin Salman was behind the hacking. “We received the report a few months ago and over the last few weeks, we have consulted our own independent experts, who have reviewed the findings and the work of that initial forensic investigation, “And they have concluded, following a range of expert exchanges, that the most likely source of the hacking of Mr. Bezos’ phone was indeed a WhatsApp message originating from an account owned by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.” Noting that the evidence provided was very technical, she said: “Immediately after receiving the video file from that WhatsApp account, the phone behaved in a very different fashion than it had done before receiving that message and in particular, the data being exported out of the phone increased by thousand of percentage.” Multiple news outlets including the Guardian, Financial Times and Daily Beast reported on Tuesday that bin Salman was behind the hacking of Bezos’ phone in May 2018 when he sent a video via WhatsApp loaded with spyware in a bid to extract files from Bezos’s phone.

Top EU officials sign Brexit agreement

ANADOLU AGENCY (ANKARA): Top EU officials signed the Brexit agreement on Friday. President of the EU Council Charles Michel said on Twitter that he signed the agreement along with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “Things will inevitably change but our friendship will remain. We start a new chapter as partners and allies,” Michel added. Von der Leyen also said on Twitter that now the agreement was open for ratification by the EU Parliament. The EU Parliament is expected to vote on the agreement on Jan. 29. The EU Withdrawal Bill that will enable Britain’s exit from the bloc on Jan. 31 became law in the U.K. on Thursday after receiving royal assent from Queen Elizabeth. According to the law, the U.K. will leave the EU on Jan. 31, when a transition period that will expire on Dec. 31, 2020, will kick in.

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