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Russian Hackers Win Again: John Kelly’s Personal Cell Allegedly “Compromised” For Months

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Is John Kelly the latest victim of the now infamous, pesky, yet extremely elusive, 'Russian hackers' that cost Hillary Clinton the 2016 election and are slowly taking over the world?  According to Politico, he just might be…

White House officials believe that chief of staff John Kelly’s personal cellphone was compromised, potentially as long ago as December, according to three U.S. government officials.

The discovery raises concerns that hackers or foreign governments may have had access to data on Kelly’s phone while he was secretary of Homeland Security and after he joined the West Wing.

Tech support staff discovered the suspected breach after Kelly turned his phone in to White House tech support this summer complaining that it wasn’t working or updating software properly.

Kelly told the staffers the phone hadn’t been working properly for months, according to the officials.

Kelly

Per Politico's reporting, it's unclear when Kelly's phone may have been compromised and the administration is currently conducting a full review of his travel schedule prior to joining the Trump administration. 

A White House spokesman said Kelly hadn’t used the personal phone often since joining the administration. This official said Kelly relied on his government-issued phone for official communications.

The official, who did not dispute any of POLITICO’s reporting on the timeline of events or the existence of the memo, said Kelly no longer had possession of the device but declined to say where the phone is now.

Several government officials said it is unclear when — or where — Kelly’s phone was first compromised. It also is unclear what data might have been accessed, if any.

Kelly’s travel schedule prior to joining the administration in January is under review. The former Marine general retired in 2016 as chief of U.S. Southern Command.

Staffers reviewed the cellphone for several days and tried to decipher what had happened to it, the officials said. Many functions on the phone were not working.

The IT department concluded the phone had been compromised and should not be used further, according to the memo.

Of course, if the hackers were using all the latest tools from the NSA they could have easily accessed Kelly's emails and even used his phone's camera and microphone to secretly record conversations without anyone ever noticing.

Bill Marczak, a senior research fellow with the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, said the worst-case scenario would be “full access,” in which an attacker would be able to essentially control a device, including its microphone and camera.

“The [attackers] I would be most worried about are nation-states or other actors who may have access to resale of commercial spyware sold to nation-states,” he said.

“The average user won’t notice anything at all. Really, the only way to pick up on that is to do forensics on the phone,” he added.

Ironically, if it was the Russians that hacked Kelly's phone then it could put a damper on the MSM's theory that the Kremlin has been targeting only Democrats.  So maybe this hack was from Iran or North Korea…we're waiting on CNN to confirm. 

Then again…maybe the hackers in this specific situation were more local…

NSA


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