White House Believes John Kelly's Cellphone Was Hacked, Says Report

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly turned the phone over to IT staffers during the summer complaining that it had not been operating properly for months sources told Politico

That means the breach was presumably discovered around the time when Kelly left his post as the head of the Department of Homeland Security and moved to the West Wing as President Trump's chief of staff on July 28th.

The White House told Politico that Kelly had not used the phone since joining the administration, and relied on a government-issued handset for official communications. The report says that officials are reviewing Kelly's travel schedule as staffers attempt to identify precisely what has happened to it.

Kelly also has an official government phone, which appears to have not been affected. Kelly reportedly no longer uses that phone.

A spokesman for the White House was not immediately available for comment.

It's hard to overstate how serious a breach of Kelly's phone would be, considering he's occupied two of the most senior and sensitive positions in the USA government over the past year. Investigators say that numerous phone's features weren't functioning.




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 [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". That's when White House tech support decided the phone had been breached. "Really the only way to pick up on that is to do forensics on the phone".

And he has claimed that he has seldom used the compromised personal phone since taking a job in the White House.

The President has continued to use a Samsung Galaxy S3, a handset first released in 2012, to do much of his communication, including tweeting.

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