Trump’s chief of staff reportedly used ‘compromised’ phone for months

John Kelly, the White House’s chief of staff, spent months using a “compromised” personal cell phone, according to a new report from Politico. Despite noticing limited functionality on his personal device — it wouldn’t update its software correctly, for one, Kelly didn’t contact the White House’s tech support team sometime this summer. That was months after the strange behavior began, leading officials to believe the attack on his phone could’ve happened as far as back as December 2016.

Of the many questions this situation raises, two stand out: Was any data on Kelly’s personal phone obtained, and if so, was it in any way sensitive? Since the affected device was Kelly’s personal phone, it’s possible that there was no valuable information on it to obtain. The chief of staff mostly used his government-issued phone for official communications since joining the Trump administration, though it’s clearly not impossible for senior White House officials to use their personal phones for official business. Still, a White House spokesperson told Politico that Kelly hadn’t used his personal phone “often” after taking over as chief of staff, implying that it did happen from time to time.

The report raises the possibility that Kelly kept information pertaining to his previous gig as the Secretary of Homeland Security on the phone, but neither he nor anyone else related to the incident has commented on what’s actually on the device.

Still other specifics remain similarly vague. Despite “several days” of testing, there is currently no word on how the attack was carried out. It’s also unclear what kind of phone Kelly was using as a personal device, though he has been seen using an iPhone in the past. This matters more than you might think: older devices are eventually dropped from manufacturer support schedules so they typically don’t get new software and security updates, making them more vulnerable to attacks that new phones would better resist. The exact timing of the hack also remains unclear, and while a memo detailing the incident was distributed to administration staff, no one within the White House seems ready to assign blame just yet.

Source: Politico

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Apple might announce a 4K TV box at next month’s iPhone event

Apple is unveiling another new product with its latest iPhones and Apple Watches in September, according to Bloomberg. Cupertino is reportedly announcing its 4K- and HDR-capable Apple TV, as well. If you’ll recall, the publication reported earlier this year that the tech titan has updated its TV streaming box with the capability to stream in 4K resolution and to play more color-rich HDR videos. Since the upgraded box is expected to stream bigger files with a higher resolution, it will come with a faster processor. Obviously, you’ll need to pair it with a TV that’s also capable of playing 4K HDR content to bring out its full potential.

Despite the new capabilities and faster processor, Apple’s engineers were apparently unhappy with the incremental upgrade. They originally set out to build a cord-cutting device with the first Apple TV, but the company failed to forge partnerships to make that vision a reality. It’s unclear if the tech giant is still pursuing deals with broadcast networks, but Bloomberg says it’s talking to streaming services like Netflix about providing more 4K videos.

Apple is reportedly talking to film studios about selling 4K movies through iTunes, as well, and an iTunes UK transaction back in July marking a film as “4K, HDR” suggests negotiations are going smoothly. We’ll probably also see some original 4K shows in the future, considering the tech giant has already set aside $ 1 billion for original programming. In addition, both the old and upcoming TV boxes will be able to access Amazon Prime Video later this year.

According to the Bloomberg piece, Apple is seeking to “revive its video ambitions” with the upgraded device, as the original one hasn’t been doing as well as Roku, Chromecast and the Fire TV. It even made a few hires for that particular purpose over the past few months, including Timothy Twerdhal, the former Fire TV chief who’s now in charge of the Apple TV division. Unfortunately, we still don’t know how much the new streaming box will set you back, but it’s almost September anyway — you won’t have to wait too long to find out.

Source: Bloomberg

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