Saudi govt hacked Jeff Bezos' phone and leaked nude pics as revenge for Khashoggi murder reports, says investigator
Security expert Gavin De Becker was hired by Bezos after National Enquirer obtained intimate texts between the Amazon CEO and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez
According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' security chief, the Saudi government allegedly hacked Bezos' phone and extracted private data from it.
After concluding an investigation into the leaking of text messages exchanged between Bezos and his new girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, longtime security consultant Gavin De Becker claimed the parent company of the National Enquirer, American Media Inc, had secretly demanded that he deny finding any evidence of "electronic eavesdropping or hacking in their newsgathering process," according to a Daily Mail report.
"Our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone, and gained private information," De Becker wrote in an article for The Daily Beast. "As of today, it is unclear to what degree, if any, AMI was aware of the details."
Bezos had accused the newspaper's owner last month of blackmailing him saying he must admit in public that the tabloid's reporting on him was not politically motivated, else they would publish "intimate photos" he allegedly sent to Sanchez.
The Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs had clearly stated in February that their government had "absolutely nothing to do" with the reportage on Bezos' affair. Furthermore, AMI has maintained that it acted within the framework of the law while reporting the widely-discussed affair.
Nonetheless, De Becker said he has now turned over his findings to U.S. federal officials. The Amazon CEO alluded in a Medium post to the kingdom's displeasure at the Bezos-owned Washington Post's coverage of the murder of its columnist and Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
He went on to reference media reports alleging links between Saudi Arabia and AMI, claiming David Pecker, its CEO, had "been investigated for various actions they've taken on behalf of the Saudi Government."
In an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation on February 10, Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, was asked if the Saudi government had anything to do with the National Enquirer leaks.
"This is something between the two parties, we have nothing to do with it," al-Jubeir said. "It sounds to me like a soap opera," he went on to say, speculating that, "Maybe some of our citizens read The National Enquirer when they're in the United States… but that's it."
Instead, al Jubeir said he did not know of any links between AMI and the Saudi government, saying "I believe I would be aware" of something like this.