Chief of Staff John Kelly's Personal Cell Phone Compromised

Chief of Staff John Kelly's Personal Cell Phone Compromised

Chief of Staff John Kelly's Personal Cell Phone Compromised

According to a new report from Politico that cites three United States government officials, White House tech staff only found out about the suspected breach when Kelly handed in the phone this summer, complaining that it had been glitchy and not updating properly for months. The potential hack sparked worries that foreign governments and hackers could have had access to Kelly's phone during his time in the Trump administration, both as secretary of Homeland Security and as chief of staff. The intrusion as discovered over the summer when Kelly turned in his phone to White House tech support, complaining that it wasn't functioning properly and hadn't been for months.

News of Kelly's phone was reported days after it was learned that a number of current and former White House staffers used their personal emails to conduct official government business.

Kelly does use a different personal phone, one of the officials told Politico, but he uses his government phone while inside the White House. It's unclear if any data or information was lifted from Kelly's phone.

Three unspecified United States officials told Politico that Kelly's phone may have been compromised as long ago as December 2016.

Kelly, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general, became White House chief of staff back in July.

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His reputation as a straightshooter has many in the Oval Office and Republican Party optimistic as he takes the reins as chief of staff. Kelly was recently given authority to approve Cabinet travel.

Kelly told the tech gurus that the issue had been going on for several months.

"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 executive branch department determined that the phone had been compromised and should not be used any more, according to a memo circulated this week inside the White House. "Really the only way to pick up on that is to do forensics on the phone".

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