Bezos selfie controversy triggers alarm for billionaires worldwide


Ask any household workplace about its largest fears and cybersecurity is close to the highest. Personal safety not includes simply bodyguards and a top-notch alarm system. The web age has seen an enormous shift in individuals storing their most delicate and private knowledge on-line, the place it is weak to hacking and intrusion.

‘Absolute disconnect’

Ultra-wealthy people are notably vulnerable as a result of a lot of their knowledge are sometimes centralised by means of household workplaces, which usually lack the strong firewalls and encryption capabilities of banks and enormous firms.

Johnson, a former case officer with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, stated he is labored with shoppers with greater than $US40 billion in belongings who had a “Secret Service-type bodily safety – in all probability even higher – and but there was an absolute disconnect between that bodily safety and the digital safety.’

It’s unclear how the tabloid obtained Bezos’s texts. The founder, who has a internet value of $US133.9 billion, stated in his weblog publish that he’d authorised safety chief Gavin de Becker “to proceed with no matter finances he wanted” to resolve the leak.

Security specialists say potential entry factors for a digital invasion are quite a few.

‘Legacy dangers’

“We all have units we feature they usually every have their very own level of vulnerability,” stated Kris Coleman, founding father of intelligence-services agency Red Five Security.

Banking info, id knowledge, even well being info and journey schedules can expose somebody to a breach. Those in billionaires’ internal circles are a specific danger for the knowledge they’ve entry to and will share, both maliciously or inadvertently.


“Private, prosperous households want to think about themselves targets which might be on par with nation states,” Coleman stated.

The rich aren’t simply vulnerable to dropping cash by way of hacks. Their manufacturers, reputations – or, in household workplace parlance, “legacy” – additionally might be broken.

On Tuesday, news web site Splinter revealed a trove of racist emails despatched and acquired by TD Ameritrade Holding founder Joe Ricketts that included anti-Muslim slurs and conspiracy theories. Ricketts, whose household owns the Chicago Cubs, issued a press release on his private web site, apologising for remarks “that do not mirror my worth system.’

Protecting Zuckerberg

Providing safety providers to the rising ranks of the super-rich is an increasing subject. Federal brokers and army personnel, together with former Navy Seals, Secret Service and Mossad brokers, SWAT workforce operators and Scotland Yard detectives, have discovered second careers defending billionaires, the place they will earn double what they did working for the federal government.

When Jeff Bezos alleged in a blog post Thursday that he was the victim of blackmail attempts by the publisher of the National Enquirer.

When Jeff Bezos alleged in a weblog publish Thursday that he was the sufferer of blackmail makes an attempt by the writer of the National Enquirer.Credit:Bloomberg

Facebook spent $US7.three million in 2017 on private safety for CEO Mark Zuckerberg, an expense the corporate defended as mandatory contemplating his “position and importance.” Last yr, the agency stated it will give him a further $US10 million yearly to beef up his safety. Its government safety program is run by an ex-Secret Service agent, in line with her LinkedIn profile.

Amazon spent $US1.6 million final yr on safety for Bezos, in accordance with regulatory filings.

De Becker, a best-selling writer, made his identify as a safety advisor to Hollywood celebrities and co-created MOSAIC, an evaluation device that was initially used to analyse threats towards Supreme Court justices and members of Congress. He describes himself on the agency’s web site as “the nation’s leading expert on the protection of public figures”.

Red Five’s Coleman did not categorical shock that Bezos’s racy textual content messages have been weak.

“My message to affluent families: don’t assume you’re OK,” Coleman stated. “Because most of them aren’t.”


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