Apparently, experts have risen and announced that a personal phone that recently elected US President Donald Trump carries might be a potential risk to the States and its allies. Trump’s social media activity and comments analysts warned that he is still using a regular Android device, which is if you do not know, very vulnerable to hackers which can over its Google-made software access president’s communications, live camera, microphone and location feeds.
To more than an advanced hacker, this surely is an easy task that can be carried out simply by coercing Trump into clicking on an infected link in a message or on Twitter on his Android phone. To prevent something like this NSA (National Security Agency) issued, to the ex-President Barack Obama, a highly secure phone that they designed. Martin Alderson, co-founder of mobile security company Codified Security confirmed this by stating “President Obama was given a phone modified for his personal use, limited to making phone calls – I think this will be the same for the President-elect, with his tweeting done through a dedicated aide”.
After seven years in Oval Office, the Blackberry Obama used had to be returned in favor of an NSA-made “hardened” phone that the new President will receive. Apparently, the speculations are that the Trump’s new phone is going to be a Samsung Galaxy S4, with biometric authentication, but without a camera and is only allowed to download a certain number of restricted apps from the Defense Information Systems Agency’s store.
Unlike Obama, Trump doesn’t want to give up his phone because he is pretty much scared that he will become disconnected without it. Another thing is that president-elect is more comfortable tapping away for hours a day on his Android device but isn’t able to find his way around a computer. When you take a look at it, it seems that Trump remained consistent to what he said and that he really didn’t give up his Android phone since he started receiving sensitive high-level briefings with Obama and his staff. What supports this is the thing that Dave Robinson, a data scientist at Stack Overflow, said “Since the election almost all of his tweets have been “Twitter for Android” (the campaign iPhone has almost entirely stopped tweeting)”, and added “Thus it’s likely that he is using the same Android device (a Samsung Galaxy) he has during the campaign”. Dave analyses Trump’s tweets in his spare time, and there probably is something to what he said.
Avi Rosen, chief executive of mobile security company Kaymera said that “Increasingly cyber attacks are focused on mobile devices, because they’re considered to be the best intelligence gathering devices out there.” That is why the issue of Trump’s new phone is so important. The Cyber spooks in a search for highly delicate information could secretly install malicious software onto Trump’s phone that allows them to turn the microphone and camera on when they please, track his location, and steal all of his messages and emails, Rosen also warned about. Alderson added upon all this saying that “President-elect Trump is going to find there’s no way he gets to continue using a phone in the same fashion as any other American citizen,” and continued “The number of critical vulnerabilities on his choice platform Android, such as Stagefright, TowelRoot, and Quadrooter, show that Android is high risk for someone in his position.”
Trump has some options that include more secure versions of Android that are available, such as Knox on Samsung and Kaymera’s modified version of the software, but hackers are able to use the smallest vulnerabilities to take control of people’s phones. Trump should probably listen to the NSA and do as his predecessor did, or at least in cooperation with them, make something totally unseen and something off-the-hook that will suit his style.