“This Is, To Put It Bluntly, Asking For A Disaster”

Overwhelming the populous with provocations and crises is something that comes naturally to a committed controversialist like Donald Trump, who seems powered by emotional damage and, likely, mental illness, the way some are by caffeine, but it also is clearly a part of a plan of Steve Bannon and the other destroyers in the Oval Office mix.

Issue a bigoted and badly drawn ban on Muslim immigrants just as the white nationalist Chief Strategist is named to replace the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at National Security Council meetings. Divert attention from any one fire by starting many.

And if everything is an outrage, no individual offense seems so irregular. 

In addition to the many worrying, fascistic signs of the first week-plus of the new Administration, it’s gone almost unnoticed that the candidate who railed against Hillary Clinton using a private server as Secretary of State is now a President with an insecure Android phone. Sadly, this Congress is far too feckless and opportunistic to call him out on his behavior.

From “President Trump’s Insecure Android,” by Nicholas Weaver at Lawfare:

Lost amid the swirling insanity of the Trump administration’s first week, are the reports of the President’s continued insistence on using his Android phone (a Galaxy S3 or perhaps S4). This is, to put it bluntly, asking for a disaster. President Trump’s continued use of a dangerously insecure, out-of-date Android device should cause real panic. And in a normal White House, it would.

A Galaxy S3 does not meet the security requirements of the average teenager, let alone the purported leader of the free world. The best available Android OS on this phone (4.4) is a woefully out-of-date and unsupported. The S4, running 5.0.1, is only marginally better. Without exaggerating, hacking a Galaxy S3 or S4 is the type of project I would assign as homework for my advanced undergraduate classes. It’d be as simple as downloading a suitable exploit—depending on the version, Stagefright will do—and then entice Trump to clicking on a link. Alternatively, one could advertise malware on Breitbart and just wait for Trump to visit.
Once compromised, the phone becomes a bug—even more catastrophic than Great Seal—able to record everything around it and transmit the information once it reattaches to the network. And to be clear even a brand new, fully updated Android or iPhone is insufficient: The President of the United States is worth a great many multiples of expensive zero-day exploits.•