Gavin de Becker, Jeff Bezos’ security consultant, is accusing the Saudis of hacking into Mr. Bezos’ phone (via The New York Times).
After the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post reporter who was killed on the orders of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudis targeted Jeff Bezos, owner of the Post.
The unusual set of circumstances began in January, when Mr. Bezos announced that he and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, were divorcing. The next day, The Enquirer published an exposé revealing that Mr. Bezos was romantically involved with Lauren Sanchez, a former Los Angeles TV anchor.
Then in February, Mr. Bezos published a post on Medium accusing AMI of “extortion and blackmail.” Mr. Bezos said AMI had threatened to publish graphic photographs of him, including a “below-the-belt selfie,” if he did not publicly affirm that The Enquirer’s reporting on his affair was not motivated by political concerns. He said AMI, which has had ties to the Saudis, was “apoplectic” about The Post’s reporting on the Saudis.
Gavin de Becker, Mr. Bezos’ security consultant, alleged that the Saudis were behind the hacking. He interviewed cybersecurity experts as well as people who personally know the Saudi Crown Prince. He was short on details though, not providing direct evidence nor what methods the Saudis used.
It also sounds like AMI is still working behind the scenes, trying to get Mr. de Becker to give a public statement that AMI didn’t use “any form of electronic eavesdropping or hacking in their news-gathering process” and wasn’t motivated by external forces.