An Apple iPhone Lock Screen is viewed in this image illustration on September 24, 2018.  Chinese and Russian spies routinely intercept personal phone calls President Trump does on their iPhones, one of which is not different from the smartphone millions of other people use. The US President’s temporary approach to electronic security has made several current and former officials so frustrated that they leaked the details of The New York Times
as reported in phone calls Wednesday night.
Trump, reported Wednesday’s article, has two official iPhones that have been modified by the National Security Agency to limit the types of hack they are susceptible to. The president has a third iPhone without any changes that he uses as a personal device, because, unlike the official iPhones, he can store personal contacts on it. In addition, while Trump is replacing his two official phones every 30th day for new, he rarely does that. Trump agreed to give up his Android phone, as most security experts believe is more vulnerable than Apple’s iOS, and Trump has also agreed to the more casual arrangement of having the two official iPhones. One is for Twitter and other apps while the other handles calls.
But when Trump uses mobile phones to call friends, Chinese spies often listen in the hope of gaining insight into how to influence him on the slow trade issue. Russian spies also listen routinely to Trump’s talks, although the Russian spies do not seem to be as advanced as an influential campaign like their Chinese counterparts. Aides has repeatedly warned the president that mobile phone calls are particularly susceptible to the supervision of opponents. Aides has pushed him to use landlines instead, but he has refused to give up his devices.
How is it done?
NEW NEWS does not describe the interception in much detail than saying “calls from the phones are intercepted when traveling through cellular turrets, cables and exchanges that make up national and international mobile networks. Calls from all mobile phones, iPhone, Android and old school Samsung flip phone is vulnerable. “
Based on that description, there are a number of ways that spies can listen. The most likely method, former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos said on Twitter is the passive decryption of the call because it goes from a cell phone to a carrier’s cell tower, often as it uses Voice over the LTE standard.
“Russian and Chinese embassies are likely to suck up all GSM / LTE bands in the district,” Stamos wrote. “Modern iPhones would make the most voice as VoLTE, which means that this would require a passive attack on handshake or KASUMI cipher. Seems likely. “
Concerned with this theory, as Stamos continued to note, there are currently no known practical attacks that decrypt LTE calls. In order for this theory to be correct, governments must now be able to delete a standard that hundreds of millions of people use every day to protect their most sensitive personal and business secrets.
Stamos also held the possibility that the reported Trump interception could use weaknesses in Signal System No. 7, the four decades. -Sold network protocols that allow mobile phone users to connect easily from network to network while traveling worldwide. While technically possible, Stamos discounted SS7 as the likely interception method, as carrier would probably be aware of it used to monitor phone numbers assigned to the president. Stamos also has discounted phone problems damaged into the baseband and the use of stingrays for the man-in-the-middle call.
Others have increased the possibility that the interception is done by monitoring the connections of the people who receive the president’s call. It is certainly possible, but it would not explain why aides are so frustrated by Trump’s continued use of mobile phones and his resistance to using landlines.
Wednesday’s article contrasts Trump’s attitude toward mobile phone security with its predecessor. During his second term, President Barack Obama used an iPhone, but it could not call and could only receive emails from a particular address to a selected group of staff and close contacts. The iPhone had no camera or microphone and could not be used to download apps by will. Texting was not allowed because there was no way to collect and store messages as required by the presidential record. Often when Obama needed a cell phone, he used someone who was a helper.
Trump, on the other hand, has insisted on having a more skilled device. The president usually uses his mobile phones when he does not want a call to be directed through the White House onboard and log in for help.