White House believes chief of staff's personal phone was hacked

White House believes chief of staff's personal phone was hacked

White House believes chief of staff's personal phone was hacked

The hackers may have gained access to data on Kelly's mobile device as far back as December, when he was transitioning to join the Trump administration as secretary of Homeland Security.

The hack was reportedly discovered when Kelly's phone was malfunctioning and he took it to tech support at the White House, according to Gizmodo.

A White House spokesman said Kelly hadn't used the personal phone often since joining the administration.

The White House did not confirm nor deny Politico's report to Fox News and is calling the issue a security matter.

Kelly said at the time that his personal phone hadn't been working properly for months - a tell-tale sign that it may have been hijacked by malware that gave outsiders access to the device's secrets. Kelly retired in a year ago from his role as chief of the United States Southern Command, a post he held from 2012 until 2016.

Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, has sought to impose order on the day-to-day operations at the White House.

White House aides also summarized the incident in a memo in September and circulated the document among the staff. Many of these types of malware go unnoticed for months as they remain primarily hidden and don't interfere with how the device owner uses the phone.

The news comes during an internal probe into senior White House officials, including Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, using their personal emails while engaging in government business.

Politico reports Kelly turned his phone over for IT help this summer after complaining it was acting up.

White House computer staff identified a breach after Kelly handed in his cell phone, asking for tech support help, according to Politico.

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