An investigator working for Jeff Bezos has said that the Saudi Arabian government hacked the Amazon CEO's phone and accessed his personal data.
Gavin De Becker, a former CIA and FBI investigator who has worked for Bezos for 22-years as a private investigator, was tasked with sleuthing out the facts when the National Enquirer broke the news of Bezo's relationship with Lauren Sanchez.
In January, the Enquirer published a special edition with details of the Amazon CEO's love life that cited private text messages. Originally, De Becker and his team identified the Enquirer's source as Michael Sanchez, Bezo's mistress' brother.
However, as De Becker explained in The Daily Beast, this case was not as simple as 'the brother did it'. Instead, the case seems like the plot of a Columbo episode with coverups and late twists. De Becker said his investigation is now complete and that his results had been turned over to federal officials, which means he can't divulge further details, but he did save one piece of tantalising information for his Daily Beast article.
"Our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos' phone, and gained private information," he confirmed. "As of today, it is unclear to what degree, if any, AMI was aware of the details."
AMI is the parent company of The National Enquirer and De Becker suggests the media company worked hard to publicly reveal the identity of its source - Michael Sanchez. He said that AMI initially gave him "strong" hints before citing Sanchez statements.
De Becker also said the company had gone on TV to state that the leak was not from the White House or Saudi Arabia, before telling De Becker that it was a person known to both Bezos and girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.
But, according to De Becker, citing The Wall Street Journal and Page Six, it was the Enquirer who first contacted Michael Sanchez about the affair - not the other way around. Both publications suggest that the Enquirer had already seen the text messages before contacting Michael Sanchez. This led De Becker to conclude that if these accounts were accurate, the stories would mean the initial information came from "another source or method".
With the federal authorities now picking up the investigation, De Becker's article has found more questions than answers as this case is still far from closed.
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Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.
Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognise him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.