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If Donald Trump is really still using his unsecured Android phone to tweet, that’s terrible news for national security

Security experts inside and outside of government say it opens the door to hacking, impersonation and physical attacks.

U.S. President Donald Trump makes brief remarks after signing four executive orders during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security January 25, 2017 in Washington, DC.  Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

When President Trump tweeted about crime in Chicago last night, he apparently did so from his old Android phone, much to the dismay of his aides.

A New York Times story says Trump didn’t actually turn off his personal smartphone ahead of the inauguration, as previous reports said he would and as aides have been pushing him to do.

Trump’s decision to continue using a smartphone that’s connected to the internet poses a serious national security risk, as we’ve written before. President Obama also wanted to keep using a smartphone, but when he assumed office, he traded in his BlackBerry for a secure, encrypted device that had most smartphone features turned off and could only communicate with a preselected group of aides who also had secure devices.

Here’s what the experts have to say about why using a standard cellphone is such a bad idea:

  • A hacker could use keylogging software to see what Trump is typing before the tweet sends. That head start could be used to influence the stock market or exploited for political ends.
  • Trump’s phone should not be connected to the internet anyway, since everything connected to the internet is vulnerable to attack.
  • A commercial-grade phone should never be taken into high-level meetings. There are exploits that can power on its microphone to listen in.
  • If Trump is using his phone for work in any way, the classified data networks he needs to access as president should not be connected to the phone, especially if that phone is one anyone can purchase off the shelf.

We’ve reached out to the White House for comment, but have yet to get a reply. (If anyone has Trump’s cellphone number, let us know and we’ll call him directly.)

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