As Cybersecurity Adviser, Giuliani Made a Major Blunder

He locked himself out of his iPhone and took it to an Apple Store
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2019 6:30 AM CDT
Trump Cybersecurity Adviser Needed Help Unlocking Phone
Rudy Giuliani is seen during a campaign event for Eddie Edwards in Portsmouth, NH, on Aug. 1, 2018.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

On Feb. 7, 2017, a 72-year-old man walked into an Apple Store in downtown San Francisco and said he needed help unlocking his iPhone because he'd entered the wrong password more than 10 times. It would have been an unremarkable occurrence—if that man, Rudy Giuliani, hadn't been named White House cybersecurity adviser by President Trump a few weeks earlier. "Very sloppy," a former Apple employee who was working that day tells NBC News. "Trump had just named him as an informal adviser on cybersecurity and here, he couldn't even master the fundamentals of securing [his] own device." According to Apple's internal database, Giuliani had to have the phone wiped and start over, Ars Technica reports.

Two former FBI cyberexperts tells NBC Giuliani's "crazy" actions in allowing a stranger with no security clearance to access his phone raise some serious concerns about White House security. "There's no way he should be going to a commercial location to ask for that assistance," says former agent EJ Hilbert. MarketWatch reports that Giuliani, who's now Trump's personal attorney, tweeted about the incident after NBC's report came out. "Hey, @NBCNEWS, last I checked the FBI, last year, had to ask Apple to unlock an iPhone too!" he said, apparently referring to the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino mass shooters, which Apple refused to unlock in 2016. (NBC reporter Rich Schapiro says Giuliani butt-dialed him twice in one month.)

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