White House chief's personal phone 'compromised'

John Kelly

According to a new report from Politico that cites three USA 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. When he turned the phone in to the White House" IT department in the summer, Kelly complained that the phone had not been working properly for "months'.

Speaking to Politico, White House officials confirmed that Kelly had not really used the personal phone since joining the Trump team, adding that he relied on his government-issued phone for official business. 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.

White House officials told Politico it's still unclear when or where Kelly's phone was hacked and what if any data swiped.

Though technicians are still unsure when Kelly's phone was initially infected, a September White House memo on the hack confirmed that the former military official had since replaced his personal phone.

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Politico reported Thursday that "three USA government officials" believed Kelly's phone was breached, possibly by hackers or foreign governments - and giving them access to critical data. Investigators say that numerous phone's features weren't functioning. The e-mails in question, according to Politico, include "nonpublic travel documents, internal schedules and some official White House materials", many of them sent by Ivanka herself.

"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", Bill Marczak, Citizen Lab senior research fellow told Politico.

And he has claimed that he has seldom used the compromised personal phone since taking a job in the White House.

The official reportedly did not dispute the Politico report.

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