Written byPatrick Howell O'Neill
White House chief of staff John Kelly’s personal phone was compromised for months, according to a new report from Politico.
The compromise, which may extend as far back as Dec. 2016, left his cell phone not working properly for months. He failed to report the malfunctions until last month.
A White House official told Politico Kelly used his government-issued phone for “most communications” since he joined the Trump administration, meaning it’s possible that some government work was conducted on a compromised phone.
In March, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., sent a letter to Kelly about the dangers of cell phone hacking.
News about Kelly’s phone being compromised follows months of headlines about President Trump using an off-the-shelf phone susceptible to hacking.
Trump carried out government business, including phone calls with other heads of state on his phone.
“First, there is the obvious risk of unencrypted calls, mobile messaging and Web browsing being intercepted and logged by hostile actors at the carrier level. Next, there could easily be censorship and monitoring capabilities in place on local Wi-Fi networks,” KoolSpan executive chairman Elad Yoran explained earlier this year. “[The fact is that] there are corresponding defensive technologies and steps to mitigate all of these stages.”
Politico found out about the compromise when White House aides circulated a memo about the incident in September.