Or is the problem further down the line, do the Chinese intercept the international carrier links between USA and Germany let's say?
It's strange that Facetime and Messages and Whatsapp and others are end-to-end encrypted, but voice is not.
But end to end encryption would be good for everyone -- not just world leaders.
I don't think anyone can follow him with a known-good device and let him connect to that. The article describes his short-temper and complete unwillingness to sacrifice even a few minutes to take care of security issues.
> Or force wi-fi calling and only let the phone connect to the wi-fi network they bring along everywhere.
You cannot force this President* to do anything that he thinks inconveniences him. You can't "force WiFi calling" without being fired or at least being afraid of it.
The solution here is not a technology fix for the phone of this President. The fix is a new Congress that cares about national security and a new President that cares about national security.
> One would think that the President's team would...
No, one really wouldn't. The President's team is not concerned with actually fixing this problem. They have made it clear that national security concerns come second to the whims and desires of the President*.
I think a more compelling answer would be "You'd think that the government's IT people would have found a way for Hillary Clinton to have an easy-to-use yet secure email server and yet they stonewalled her to the point that she had her own server set up at home."
> King asked, "Is the water pressure good? Is there Wi-Fi? Does the toilet run in the Lincoln bedroom."
> "You know that whole tech thing, we've been trying to get that straight for the next group of folks," President Obama replied. "This is an old building so there's a lot of dead spots where the WiFi doesn't work...no, actually it's an issue."
Pick any tech you like for the President's* phone calls, foreign governments will still listen because he simply doesn't care.
Edit: Also, why was Russia, the country that is actively attacking the US and has been for years, removed from the headline? Seems the most important part. (and don't tell me it doesn't fit, there's plenty of room).
What would be the way to restore an iphone: would restore data from icloud also risk malware infection if the phone had it? (E.g. syncing calendars, imessages, health data, etc, all of which can use icloud sync)
Referring to regular iphones here, not the president's custom phone
Looking at a list of known iOS malware  I don't offhand see any tools that manage to install themselves through exploits in non-jailbroken iOS or exploits normal App Store apps.
The closest thing I saw was an injection of malware into a pirated version of the Xcode developer tools, causing all apps compiled with that version to be infected. Those apps were then spread through a third-party app store--so again only loaded onto jailbroken iPhones.
Perhaps the scariest thing is something like Wirelurker that spreads over USB connections and can spread from iPhones to Macs and back to other iPhones. People don't plug into other Macs very much, but if this were modified to affect CarPlay, it could spread from iPhone to rental car to iPhone, to iPhone, to iPhone...
I'd been curious about this since reading about NSO Pegasus and their SMS method. Is this likely in the "zero day, high value target category"?
I've never properly seen an explanation of how it's supposed to work.
So, maybe it's a good thing he's using his iPhone.
How difficult would it be to develop something like an iPhone One for the president and other high officials?
> His Twitter phone can connect to the internet only over a Wi-Fi connection
There was a lot of criticism regarding him using Twitter with regards to computer safety. I would think that the CIA or Secret Service approaches Twitter in such a case and tries to work out a custom solution to make extra sure the account isn't vulnerable to tampering. Like 2FA where he gets the pins from an assistant or something like that.
If this is truly the root cause of the issue, it should be relatively simple to rectify.
ETA: aside from the obvious solution of getting his contacts on the secure phones, is there any reason he couldn't use a satellite phone to bypass insecure cell networks altogether?
Maybe they just set up a VPN or custom cell information on it? Can you do that on iPhone?
I think it's pretty clear, with the most charitable possible reading of this article and your comment, that the root cause is not an issue with contacts on his phone.
The root cause is quite clearly a complete lack of respect that Trump has for the American people: He does. not. care. about the country's security or anybody in it.
The root cause isn't some stupid argument about contacts in his phone. The root causes are arrogance , hate towards American people , and corrupted power . I'll cite these.
 He says he is the smartest person in the world and does not need to confer with experts about anything. Why would he need a secure phone then?
 He has directly insulted American citizens who care about the national security risks he poses. He uses terrorist-like language to describe Americans. He doesn't care about his phone being hacked.
 He acts like he thinks he is King. He acts like there are no rules for him, and the Republican Congress makes that fact true - for now.
This has nothing to do with technology and the solution doesn't have anything to do with technology either.
"Mr. Trump is supposed to swap out his two official phones every 30 days for new ones but rarely does, bristling at the inconvenience. White House staff members are supposed to set up the new phones exactly like the old ones, but the new iPhones cannot be restored from backups of his old phones because doing so would transfer over any malware."
Actually the article says:
> "But the calls made from the phones are intercepted as they travel through the cell towers, cables and switches that make up national and international cellphone networks. Calls made from any cellphone — iPhone, Android, an old-school Samsung flip phone — are vulnerable."
I also think of intelligence agencies are a little like magicians in how readily they will exploit someone's trust in reality.
And I quote:
"Mr. Trump’s use of his iPhones was detailed by several current and former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could discuss classified intelligence and sensitive security arrangements. The officials said they were doing so not to undermine Mr. Trump, but out of frustration with what they considered the president’s casual approach to electronic security."
Of course China is not currently a military threat to the US, at least at the level deserving attention of a US president (e.g. random encounters in the Spratleys are jostling, not escalation).
I certainly don't think this is a responsible practice but it's interesting to consider it in a game theoretic context.
I would disagree. China routinely threatens U.S. naval vessels which transit disputed regions of the South China Sea, and maintains a large battery of missiles pointed at Taiwan, an American diplomatic ally. They have also developed hypersonic anti-carrier missiles, and are rapidly expanding their blue-water navy.
They are rapidly expanding a blue water navy from a tiny starting point (e.g. recently bringing online a Ukranian aircraft carrier (not a super carrier) doubled their carrier force) and have a few remote naval bases, but their strength, to the degree it exists, is locally strong and externally mainly soft power.
There is no question the US would abandon Taiwan the same as Macarthur pulled back to the southern half of Australia in WWII. Pragmatics argues this -- as pragmatics argue against China actually attacking Taiwan militarily any time in the next 30 years. E.g. bombing Hon Hai would degrade Chinese manufacturing unacceptably.
For example, I believe China could easily organize and fund far more terrorist attacks than, say, bin laden ever did. Furthermore, their terrorist attacks could much more easily utilize nuclear material.
Aside from nukes, which would draw an obvious and unstoppable reprisal from the U.S., China does not have the military capability to meaningfully threaten the U.S. They don't have the aircraft, ships, subs, landing craft, etc. And again, I don't know why they would want that.
They do have the means to threaten their regional neighbors, though, and some of them are U.S. allies. That's the WWIII threat: that Chinese regional aggression sucks the U.S. into a military confrontation on China's turf.
I do agree to the extent that though the US would win any initial skirmish the long term viability of such an effort close to or on the Chinese mainland is probably not great.
Then again I can't come up with any reason the US would want to fight a war with China either (or vice versa), but who knows these days.
Russia actively attacks US election infrastructure
Running a few ads, with a small budget, or having some fake Twitter accounts post things that millions of others are already saying, in my view does not constitute an "attack on the US election infrastructure".
Our elections were hacked with...real physical hacks
That would be news indeed. Source?
People are dying in the streets from the actions taken by violent right-wing people who are directly encouraged by language from RT and from the President
constantly gather support to jail people who have committed no crimes
Source? Please name one person currently in jail in the US that has not been convicted of a crime and does not have a criminal case pending. Again, that would indeed be news.
There's no need to insult me to start with. Please abide by the HN guidelines and do not just start insulting people. Let's just talk about all this and get right to the content:
> Running a few ads, with a small budget, or having some fake Twitter accounts post things that millions of others are already saying, in my view does not constitute an "attack on the US election infrastructure".
I don't know what you're talking about. I'm talking about specifically hacking the voting infrastructure and removing voters from the voting rolls. You're going on about ads or something with a small budget (???) but I have no idea what you're talking about.
Here is a citation that Russia directly hacks the elections themselves: https://slate.com/technology/2018/07/russia-election-hacking...
> That would be news indeed. Source?
Oh yeah, that is the biggest news of the last two years. I picked a source and cited it.
Well, Heather Heyer was murdered in this fashion.
> constantly gather support to jail people who have committed no crimes
Well Beto for one! Ted Cruz trying to drum up support to jail Beto O'Rourke last night was wild. Scary and sad :(
The amount of money Russia spent on Facebook ads.
> Well, Heather Heyer was murdered in this fashion.
That was tragic. Evil, even. But you said "People are dying in the streets from the actions taken by violent right-wing people", and when pressed for evidence, you cite the only instance that has happened in two years. But you claimed more than that. You claimed "people" (plural) "are" (present tense). You have dramatically overstated a real, horrible, but still one-off instance into a general trend.
> Well Beto for one! Ted Cruz trying to drum up support to jail Beto O'Rourke last night was wild. Scary and sad :(
Ted Cruz is trying to drum up support for getting re-elected, nothing more. (You've seen this before. Note that Hillary remains completely un-locked-up.) It's sad, all right, that Cruz would use this tactic. But Beto isn't going to jail, win or lose, unless he actually does something, no matter what Cruz says in a campaign situation.
I intended no insult, nor did I post one. I simply pointed out that there were glaring factual issues with your comment. I apologize if you misinterpreted what I said.
If this was Hillary the republicans would impeach her right away for endangering the country. They should do the same to Trump.
IIRC Obama invited his high school friends a lot to hang in the White House, that's one way to avoid insecure phone networks.
How is blatant disregard for communication security not an impeachable offense? This behavior is not only destructive for himself, but destructive for the nation. Does he have to send nuclear launch codes over SMS before he gets in any sort of trouble?
It is interesting that all the push back by governments to keep phones from being secure has resulted in no phones being available that are secure - at least not any that people want to use.
Its remarkable that some people are still keeping up this charade, 3.5 years after it was revealed and 2 years after it was put to rest. C'mon, man. It's intellectual dishonesty.
Apparently we judge a former SoS by the rules of cricket and the President by the rules of Calvinball.
Here's the relevant statute:
(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
> Even though the plain language of the statute reads “gross negligence,” the Supreme Court has essentially rewritten the statue to require intent to sustain a conviction.
The phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" means the opposite of what people intuitively think. Elected officials entrusted with state powers are held (or were at the time of the founding deemed to be held) to higher ethical and moral standards than regular citizens. A "high crime" would be misbehavior by someone in a high office. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_crimes_and_misdemeanors
Wantonly reckless behavior wrt to national security is, I would hope, indisputably impeachable. But in any event what's impeachable is entirely up to Congress as a practical matter--their decision is unreviewable except by the ballot box.
It's all a joke
Political apathy and cowardice.
> Does he have to send nuclear launch codes over SMS before he gets in any sort of trouble?
As long as Congress decides who gets impeached, even that might not knock him out.