After Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' racy texts to Lauren Sanchez were leaked online, investigators have come to the conclusion that the Saudi Arabia government was behind the hacking of his phone.
In January, Bezos' text messages to his then-mistress were leaked and National Enquirer had reported that they were dating. This was during the time Bezos and his wife Mackenzie had announced their divorce.
According to AFP, the reason for the hack was Washington Post's extensive coverage of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, last year. Incidentally, Washington Post is owned by Bezos and hence, was a target by the Saudi government.
Gavin de Becker, a journalist and cybersecurity analyst, wrote in The Daily Beast, "Our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos' phone, and gained private information."
De Becker was heading the investigation to look into the hacking. He wrote, "Some Americans will be surprised to learn that the Saudi government has been very intent on harming Jeff Bezos since last October, when the Post began its relentless coverage of Khashoggi's murder."
The Guardian reports that Bezos accused National Enquirer blackmailing him and threatening to release intimate photos of him and Sanchez unless Bezos publicly said that the tabloid newspaper reporting of the duo was not politically motivated.
De Becker went on to write that American Media Inc., which is the National Enquirer's parent company had asked him to deny that he found any evidence of the newspaper "electronic eavesdropping or hacking in their newsgathering process."
He added that he is not certain at what level, AMI and the Saudi government are linked and whether they together, hacked the Amazon CEO's phone.
In February, the Saudi government has released a statement saying that they had nothing to do with Bezos' leaked information.
He wrote, "Our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos's phone, and gained private information. As of today, it is unclear to what degree, if any, AMI was aware of the details."
On the other hand, de Becker is certain that the Saudi government is behind the hacking since Washington Post covered the Jamal Khashoggi murder called out the Saudi government and its Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for orchestrating the Washington Post columnist's murder even when the Middle Eastern kingdom vehemently denied any role of the prince in the killing.
However, the CIA concluded that MBS was behind the murder and had sent 15 men to Istanbul to kill Khashoggi and dispose of his body.