Apparently, even the world's richest person can get his phone hacked.
Jeff Bezos's longtime security consultant Gavin de Becker published a 2,300-word op-ed in The Daily Beast on Saturday, accusing the Saudi Arabian government of hacking the Amazon founder's cell phone. The op-ed alleges the Saudi government began an anti-Bezos campaign last October, when the Bezos-owned Washington Post started digging into the murder of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi and the reported involvement of Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman.
De Becker also referenced two meetings between the Saudi government and American Media Inc., which owns the National Enquirer, but stopped short of explicitly linking the alleged hacking to Bezos's claim that the National Enquirer attempted to blackmail him. The alleged blackmail centered on photos and text messages documenting Bezos's extra-marital affair with former news anchor Lauren Sanchez.
"American Media has, and continues to, refute the unsubstantiated claims that the materials for our report were acquired with the help of anyone other than the single source who first brought them to us," an American Media spokesman responded in a statement. De Becker declined to disclose further details from his investigation into the blackmail attempts, the results of which have been turned over to federal officials.
While Bezos's status as the world's richest individual makes him a high-profile target, you don't need to be the founder of a large company like Amazon to be a hacking victim. Seventy percent of cyber attacks target small businesses, which puts every founder at risk. In February, Warren Buffett predicted a giant cyber attack as a potential "mega-catastrophe" that could engulf the world.
So, start preparing your firewalls and malware scanners now, before you find yourself in real trouble.