White House

Trump is still tweeting from his unsecured Android phone, reports say

President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter even after his inauguration has alarmed some cybersecurity experts.
President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter even after his inauguration has alarmed some cybersecurity experts. AP Photo

After hammering Hillary Clinton for months for her use of an unsecured private email server during her time as secretary of state, President Donald Trump may still be tweeting from a phone unsecured against hackers.

In a New York Times article published Wednesday about Trump’s first few days in the White House, reporter Maggie Haberman wrote that Trump watches television in the evening with his “old, unsecured Android phone, to the protests of some of his aides.”

That small detail was quickly seized upon by some, who claimed Trump was being hypocritical in using the same phone he used as a private citizen while in office. However, as Ars Technica points out, it is unclear whether Trump uses the same phone for official White House business. While previous reports indicate Trump is unusually accessible by phone for a politician, there are no reports that he has classified information on his personal device.

Still, the security of typical Android phones has been called into question in the past, especially given the frequency with which software updates are rolled out by service providers, per USA Today. And given the impact tweets from Trump’s account can have on the financial market, it is unsurprising that security agencies have urged him to give up his old device, per the Associated Press.

Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, used a heavily-modified BlackBerry and iPhone which limited his ability to call, send texts or tweet, per the Associated Press. The Associated Press also reported Friday that Trump told a friend he had given up his Android.

But the New York Times report coincides with several tweets sent out from Trump’s personal Twitter account on Wednesday from an Android device. People have also speculated in the past that Trump used the Android when personally tweeting messages, while his staff used iPhones to tweet from his account.

If Trump is using his old phone, it could be open to hackers in the lag between security updates, especially given the age of the phone he is rumored to have, per Quartz. Trump has previously said he uses a Samsung phone, which does have security software, Samsung Knox, that is approved by the department of defense for storing sensitive but not classified information.