Even the richest man in the world can no longer be hacked into an intimate selfie. The unveiling of Jeff Bezos, general manager of Amazon, whose gossip has illegally obtained his naked photograph, shows that the billionaires also do not escape the tentacles of computer intrusions.
"No one is out of the reach of online exploitation," said Mark Johnson, head of computer security company Sovereign Intelligence.
For this expert, billionaires and large business people are particularly vulnerable because their personal information is a gold mine for criminals, intelligence services and competitors. According to him, these different actors bet that the stolen data give them a better insight into piracy innovations and strategies.
"Obtaining your personal information is like getting the keys to the kingdom," says Johnson.
"If the National Enquirer (tabloid) has photo's of Jeff Bezos's penis, then do not tell me that China does not have the IP (a number that identifies a network device) and the strategy of Amazon," wrote Ian Bremmer. , founder of the group of experts Eurasia Group.
Increase in calls
Since Bezos' revelations, whose fortune is estimated at more than $ 130,000 million, experts in computer security consulted by AFP claim that orders for big fortune have increased to verify that their systems and devices have not been hacked.
"The current threats are not necessarily aimed at penetrating the walls of the castle because they are already inside, especially on personal devices, and experience has shown that it takes eight months for a burglary to be detected," says Kris Coleman , founder of Red Five security.
In this era of superconnection, a large part of the security of owners of large fortunes deviated from bodyguards and ultra-sophisticated alarms to risk management to protect property, image and their "heritage", because more and more personal information is stored online: social security number, bank details , health certificates, driving license number, personal address, etc.
Normally the big fortunes have a computer security service and they also resort to external companies to regularly evaluate their devices, since many computer attacks are detected by observers by third parties.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, spent $ 7.3 million on security in 2017, compared with 4.2 million in 2015, an astronomical sum that the social network considers normal due to "its rank and importance." Last July, the company also said it would allocate another $ 10 million a year to strengthen its security device.
"The protection against an internal conspiracy, especially of people of trust, or against an intelligence agency that tries to attack from the outside, requires a large investment, a lot of experience and vigilance", estimates Kris Coleman, who does not want to share the approved intelligence measures. for your customers.
For Johnson, the US Navy's former research service "no personal data is really well protected", especially because the data of large fortunes are often centralized through the "family offices", which often have no advanced technological tools, such as information -encryption.
The American information site Splinter on Monday published racist e-mails from billionaire Joe Ricketts, the founder of brokerage firm TD Ameritrade Holding Corp, without indicating how they were obtained.
In these exchanges, some of which date back to 2009, Ricketts manifests his Islamophobia and is adept in theories of conspiracy. The affected person apologized after the publication of the messages.
In August, a cyber attack against the extra-marital dating site Ashley-Madison revealed that American millionaire Dan Loeb had an account, an offense he had wanted to ignore that financial, nightmare of entrepreneurs from both the United States (Sotheby & # 39; s) and Europe (Nestlé).
Bezos has not indicated how the National Enquirer obtained his photograph, but according to experts, the most common procedure is to take over the identity of a member of the environment.
"The opponent often sends a message to the target with the request to click on a link that appears in the e-mail," explains Coleman.