San Francisco, May 23 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has resisted installing security features on his phone designed to shield his communications because he thinks they are “too inconvenient” — making his cellphone potentially vulnerable to hacking.
According to two senior administration officials, the President, who relies on cellphones to reach his friends and millions of Twitter followers, has rebuffed staff efforts to strengthen security around his phone use, Politico reported.
“Trump uses at least two iPhones. The phones — one capable only of making calls, the other equipped only with the Twitter app and preloaded with a handful of news sites — are issued by White House Information Technology and the White House Communications Agency, an office staffed by military personnel that oversees White House telecommunications,” an official was quoted as saying.
The official added that Trump has resisted to his aides’ advice to swap out the Twitter phone on a monthly basis and he has gone as long as five months without having the phone checked by security experts.
His predecessor Barack Obama handed over his White House phones every 30 days to be examined for hacking and other suspicious activity.
A senior West Wing official said the Trump’s call-capable phones “are seamlessly swapped out on a regular basis through routine support operations. Because of the security controls of the Twitter phone and the Twitter account, it does not necessitate regular change-out”.
Trump’s call-capable cellphone has a camera and microphone that put the device at a risk of being hacked and cyber criminals could use them to access the phone and monitor the President’s movements.
The GPS location tracker, however, is disabled on Trump’s devices, the report said.
The West Wing official also said that “due to inherent capabilities and advancement in technologies, these devices are more secure than any Obama-era devices”.