Security experts in the US are concerned that Donald Trump’s smartphone could be easy prey for hackers, who could exploit the president-elect’s use of social media to take control of his device. Trump’s apparent refusal to swap his Android phone for a more secure handset could pose a significant security risk to the US given the number of security vulnerabilities on Google’s mobile platform.
Trump’s knowledge of technology has been brought into question on several occasions during his rise to presidency. Famed for his ongoing reference to cybercrime as “the cyber” and his plan to fight terrorism by “closing” parts of the internet, the president-elect’s knowledge of modern tech has so far appeared worryingly sparse.
This being the case, Trump could prove a relatively easy target for cybercriminals. Taking control of his phone could be as easy as sending him an infected link via social media and tricking him into clicking on it, security experts told The Telegraph. From there, hackers could access Trump’s emails, messages and other media stored on his smartphone, as well as take control of his phone’s camera and microphone functions.
Whereas Barack Obama swapped his own phone for a toughened device provided by the National Security Agency (NSA) earlier this year, it is reported that Trump is reluctant to give up his personal phone and plans to continue using it after entering the White House. Experts say Trump’s use of the Android platform is particularly concerning given the spate of malware attacks to have hit the platform in recent years.
Martin Alderson, co-founder of mobile security firm Codified Security, said: “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.
“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. 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.”
The NSA might have a tough time ahead of it stripping Trump of his Twitter privileges, but the president-elect will have to fall in line if he wants to avoid becoming a victim of the dreaded cyber.