Sitting next to the US president could be an easily hackable listening device and camera.
That device is the unsecured Android phone used by President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. Trump was apparently keeping the phone near him and using it to tweet from the White House while watching television.
Trump's use of an unsecured phone comes after an election filled with hacks of the personal communications of Democratic political figures and organizations. Individual phones are easy to hack for anyone motivated enough, security experts say.
"If I can get in and clone your phone, I got you. You won't even know it," said Larry Johnson, a retired US Secret Service agent who now works as chief security officer at CyberSponse.
The Secret Service issued Trump a secured phone for his inauguration. According to Johnson, that phone would have very limited capabilities. President Barack Obama used his Secret Service-issued Blackberry to access the @POTUS Twitter account, so tweeting from a phone is not unheard of from a president. What's potentially dangerous is having the unsecured phone around, as it would be extremely easy to hack, Johnson said.
The White House didn't respond to a request for comment.
CNET Magazine: Check out a sampling of the stories you'll find in CNET's newsstand edition, right here.
Life, disrupted: In Europe, millions of refugees are still searching for a safe place to settle. Tech should be part of the solution. But is it? CNET investigates.
US Tech Policy
reading•Trump using unsecured Android phone, report says
Jan 27•Republican lawmaker says tech execs should watch what they say
Jan 26•Facebook, Google and Twitter reveal little in answers to Senate
Jan 23•Democrats urge Facebook and Twitter to probe Russian bots
Jan 23•With two questions, Facebook is deciding the future of news