Saudi Arabia has hacked the phone of Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and gained private data from it, his security officer said on Saturday.
Gavin De Becker, a longtime security consultant, said he had concluded his investigation into the publication in January of leaked text messages between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, a former television anchor who the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper said Bezos was dating.
Last month, Mr Bezos accused the newspaper’s owner of trying to blackmail him with the threat of publishing “intimate photos” he allegedly sent to Ms Sanchez unless he did not publicly state that the tabloid’s coverage of him was not politically motivated.
After the investigation, Mr De Becker concluded “with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone and gained private information.”
Mr De Becker alleged that the Saudi government has targeted the Washington Post, which Mr Bezos purchased in 2013, following the death of one of its columnists, Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi.
Mr Khashoggi, who was sharply critical of Saudi’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.
A spokesman for the Saudi embassy in Washington did not immediately return a request for comment.