Trump’s Old Android Phone Causes National Security Concerns

doddis77 / Shutterstock, Inc.
doddis77 / Shutterstock, Inc.
Photo of Peter Ward
Tech Editor26 January 2017

Donald Trump is reportedly still using his old Android phone in the White House, causing a potential threat to national security.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Trump is using the old Android phone he regularly tweeted from before he took office, rather than the secure, locked-down device he is said to have received from the secret service.

If this is true, Trump leaves himself open to all manner of attacks that could compromise his phone – and now the security of the nation – to spies, hackers, and other undesirables you probably wouldn’t want snooping around a president’s phone.

Barack Obama used a heavily modified and secure BlackBerry for most of his time as president, but it appears Trump is continuing to use a regular device that is built for consumers. Security experts have already expressed their fears.

“He’s at risk from everybody, ranging from lone hackers to the better-funded intelligence agencies of the world,” Bruce Schneier, a security analyst, wrote on his blog. “And while the risk of a forged e-mail is real — it could easily move the stock market — the bigger risk is eavesdropping. That Android has a microphone, which means that it can be turned into a room bug without anyone’s knowledge. That’s my real fear.”

Other members of the Trump administration have caused cyber security concerns in recent days. The Twitter accounts of the senior officials, including the president, vice president, and press secretary were found to have Gmail addresses associated with them. These personal email addresses are not supposed to be attached to official outlets.

Another worrying incident occurred this week, when press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted something that looked suspiciously like a password two days in a row, and then deleted it almost straight away each time. There’s a chance it was just a random set of letters tweeted from his pocket, but either way it doesn’t inspire confidence in a man already ethically compromised.

Trump’s reckless tweeting alone may be enough to make his phone a threat to national – and global – security, but with an added fear of his devices being compromised, it may be time to start manufacturing phones only regular-sized hands can operate.

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