So, Uh, John Kelly's Phone Was Reportedly Hacked Months Ago

Image credit DOD

Officials believe the breach to Mr. Kelly's phone dates back to December, raising concerns that hackers or foreign governments may have accessed his data while he was serving at DHS.

Tech support staff discovered the suspected breach after Kelly turned his phone in to White House tech support this summer complaining that it wasn't working or updating software properly.

A White House spokesperson says Kelly largely used his government-issued phone rather than his personal phone, which has now been taken away. As a precaution, the White House has warned other staff at the West Wing not to use any personal devices for official communications and has also set up additional storage lockers for personal devices.

Politico reported Thursday that "three US government officials" believed Kelly's phone was breached, possibly by hackers or foreign governments - and giving them access to critical data.

The breach of John Kelly's cell phone isn't the first time that the White House is in the news for suffering security incidents.

The hacker sent a pretty convincing email to Bossert's White House email account, asking him to join a veterans' party towards the end of August.

A Politico report explained that the phone belonging to President Donald Trump's chief of staff had been hacked.

Senior research fellow at the University of Toronto Bill Marczak said that in the worst-case scenario, a hacker could potentially gain full access to a phone, even enabling them to use the device's camera or microphone. The staff ultimately concluded that it should no longer be used and was compromised, according to Politico.

"The [attackers] I would be most anxious about are nation-states or other actors who may have access to resale of commercial spyware sold to nation-states", he said. It's unclear whether the Android is Trump's original Galaxy S3, however, or a newer, more secure Android.

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