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Obama's BlackBerry still hackable, warns Mitnick

You'd be a nut to try and crack it

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

President Obama's 'bullet-proof' BlackBerry might still be cracked, according to uber-hacker Kevin Mitnick.

The social engineering pioneer and ex-con turned security consultant said that although breaking into the supposedly super-secure device would be difficult, it wouldn't be impossible. "It's a long shot, but it's possible," Mitnick told Fox News. "You'd probably need to be pretty sophisticated, but there's people out there who are."

Mitnick, who spent five years in prison for hacking into the computer systems of US mobile phone and IT giants, said step one in the attack would be to obtain Obama's closely guarded email address from his circle of friends and associates. Once the address was obtained, perhaps after breaking into the PCs of Obama's confidants, a targeted email could be sent to Obama. This email would direct Obama to a website hosting exploit code, the scenario suggests.

Such an approach would be thwarted if web-browsing was disabled on the device, of course.

Would-be elite hackers looking to make a name for themselves would also do well to bear in mind that any attempted hack would bring down a lot of heat. "The government would go after them full force," Mitnick said.

Of course, the greater risk of attack against such a prime intelligence target comes from a well-resourced foreign intelligence agency rather than a common-or-garden computer hacker.

Whether Obama is still using a BlackBerry - as opposed to a Sectera Edge, an outwardly similar secure smartphone approved by the NSA - is not clear. "Nobody has really said with certainty what device he is actually using," Randy Sabett, a partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP and a former NSA employee told Fox News.

Both BlackBerry firm RIM and Whitehouse officials declined to comment on the issue. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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