White House officials believe that chief of staff John Kelly's personal cellphone was compromised, potentially as long ago as December, according to three US government officials. In September, administration aides circulated a memo detailing the incident and recommending that Kelly stop using the phone. That means the breach was presumably discovered around the time when Kelly left his post as the head of the Department of Homeland Security and moved to the West Wing as President Trump's chief of staff on July 28th. They are also uncertain of what data could have been seen or stolen. It's unclear if anything was accessed on the device.
Kelly took the device to the White House's tech team, complaining that it wouldn't work properly or update software - and hadn't been right for months.
Kelly told the tech gurus that the issue had been going on for several months.
John Kelly, White House chief of staff, was apparently using a compromised phone without being aware of it for months.
Sam Kassoumeh, the CEO of SecurityScorecard, a security intelligence company, said that Android phones can carry the risk of being vulnerable to hackers, according to Wired.
A spokesperson for the White House maintained that the former U.S. Marine general had used his government-issued phone rather than his personal one for government affairs and has already switched to a new device to replace the one being investigated. Recently, other prominent members of the Trump administration came under fire for using personal emails to conduct government business.
The official reportedly did not dispute the Politico report. And staffers did indeed find many functions on the phone were't working.