John Kelly's personal cell phone was hacked, White House officials say

Posted October 07, 2017

Unknown hackers obtained access to Chief of Staff John Kelly's personal cell phone, potentially as early as last December, three USA government officials told Politico.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, previously the Homeland Security chief. Staff reportedly discovered a suspected breach on the phone that has since raised concerns hackers may have been able to access the data on Kelly's phone for months.

Citing at least three USA government officials, the report said that the phone may have been compromised in December, last year.

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After spending several days poking and prodding the phone, staffers concluded the phone had indeed been hacked and informed the official that it should no longer be used. They are also uncertain of what data could have been seen or stolen.

A White House official told Politico that Kelly uses his government-issued phone for any official communication and has not used his personal phone since joining the Trump administration. Kelly, now President Trump's chief of staff, turned his phone over to White House tech support staff during the summer because it wasn't working correctly. One of the officials told the political news site that Kelly was using a different personal phone.

He isn't the first president to have phone security issues.

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"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".

The official reportedly did not dispute the Politico report. Trump was reported to be potentially using the phone to tweet as recently as March. It's unclear whether the Android is Trump's original Galaxy S3, however, or a newer, more secure Android.

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