Senators seek answer on Trump using unsecure smartphone

GETTYWhich smartphone is Donald Trump actually using

Despite protestations from his aides and warnings that it is an easy target for cyber criminals, Mr Trump allegedly rejected the National Security Agency's "hardened" device, which has limited functions, in favour of his old Samsung Galaxy. Even when people take precautions to secure their devices, hackers continue to exploit security weaknesses or create new pathways to personal data, the Senators said.

Several public reports initially suggested that the President got a secured and encrypted smartphone, approved by the USA secret service and had started using the same prior to joining office.

It would certainly be good to get some clarity over the security of the smartphones being used by the US President. McCaskill and Carper wrote.

ZDNet reports that the two senators have officially asked the government's Defense Information Systems Agency if Trump was given a secure smartphone.

Security concerns spurred by President Trump's purported use of an unsecured, personal smartphone are raised in a recent letter from two Democratic senators to newly confirmed Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Mr Trump was given his new secure phone at the same time as his inauguration, apparently by the Secret Service.

The senators also want to make sure that he is using a government-mandated phone to ensure everything he does as president can be properly documented, as per the preservation of presidential records. They also asked for detail information on what measures had been put in place to protect his phone, and whether the Secret Service and the NSA were part of that process.

According to the senators, the vulnerabilities were among the reasons for national security agencies discouraging the use of personal devices.

Sens. Tom Carper of DE and Claire McCaskill of Missouri have given the Pentagon until March 9 to explain how its security experts are safeguarding Mr. Trump's smartphone from hackers, according to the contents of a letter dated February 9 but not made public until Monday.

The vulnerabilities are among the reasons why national security agencies discourage the use of personal devices, the senators added, pointing to a Department of Defense's 2013 Commercial Mobile Device Implementation Plan, which stated that "DoD policies, operational constructs, and security vulnerabilities now prevent the adoption of devices that are unapproved and procured outside of official government acquisition".

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