Media Coverage Archive

Investor Place | BY Tom Taulli
Wednesday | May 23, 2018

According to a recent report in Politico, President Donald Trump isn’t a big fan of securing his iPhones. Could this mean trouble?

One of the most important priorities in Corporate America is cybersecurity. Just one breach can mean a devastating hit to a company’s brand and bank account.

This tough environment has certainly been a boon to cybersecurity companies like Proofpoint Inc (NASDAQ:PFPT), Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) and Fortinet Inc(NASDAQ:FTNT), as customers continue to shell out substantial amounts for new software and systems.

But interestingly enough, the top executive in the U.S., President Trump, is not a believer in this trend. According to a recent piece in Politico, he has rejected attempts from his staff to put security features on his devices as well as to swap phones every month. Apparently, attempts to secure Trump’s iPhone are “too inconvenient.”

It appears that Trump has at least two devices: one for calls and another for Twitter.

All this sounds kind of risky, right? Definitely. But hey, Trump’s career has been about taking big-time gambles.

OK then, so how safe is Donald Trump’s iPhone? Well, of course, it’s tough to tell. Let’s face it, there is likely quite a bit of secrecy with his devices.

Yet there are still some things to consider:

Hacking Trump’s iPhone vs. an Android

One of the hallmarks of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is its focus on security and privacy. Then again, the company has the advantage of controlling both the hardware and software platforms.

Various surveys show that the iPhone scores relatively higher on security metrics, such as compared to Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android operating system. For example, in research from SecurityLab, the iPhone outranked Android on key areas like the time to make updates available and the length of time devices are supported.

Yet this does not mean the iPhone is foolproof. The fact is that there are always vulnerabilities with any technology. After all, this is why Apple makes periodic updates to its operating system.

Domingo Guerra, who is the president and co-founder of Appthority, a cybersecurity company ‘for a mobile world’ said:

“While iPhones are in fact architected differently than Android, their ‘walled garden’ approach has been breached in the past. Further, most mobile risks come from insecure or vulnerable apps, which carry the same vulnerabilities on iOS and Android.”

Smartphone Features Make Hacking Trump’s iPhone Even More Enticing

Guerra calls the smartphone a “hacker’s dream spy tool.” The device is covered with sensors, such as for front and rear facing cameras, microphones and GPS systems.

Granted, Trump’s iPhones have the GPS disabled. But it does look like the cameras are functional. In other words, if there is a hack, there could be access to videos of the president!

“Our phones host our data, calendar and address book,” said Guerra. “Worst of all, unlike computers of the past, smartphones are always with us and are powered on 24/7.”

Besides, the risks for Trump are not just isolated to his phones.  What if Twitter were hacked?  In this case, there could be access to videos, photos, voices and location tracking.

Hacking Methods Are Constantly Evolving

The Politico story is likely to gin up interest from hackers. Now they have an idea that there could be vulnerabilities in Trump’s iPhone.

It’s also important to keep in mind that hackers are getting more and more sophisticated. They are using encryption systems to avoid detection, which can make it difficult to fend against. Hackers may also have the benefit of enormous resources from criminal or terrorist networks as well as nation states.

So yes, while implementing cybersecurity features is definitely inconvenient, a breach would certainly be much more so.

Read the original article on InvestorPlace here.