FBI confiscates Sen. Graham's phone after possible hacking

 May 6, 2024

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has confiscated U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) phone, the Independent reports

This comes after Graham received a message from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Schuck Schumer (D-NY), or, at least, this is what the sender wanted Graham to believe.

In actuality, the message appears to have come from someone who was pretending to be Schumer.

Now, the FBI is looking into the situation.

It's possible the phone was hacked

Graham made the revelation, that he received a call from someone impersonating Schumer, on Wednesday, at the Hill and Valley Summit. There, several lawmakers, including Graham and Schumer, gathered to discuss national defense, among other things.

"So I get a message, I think, from Schumer. It ain’t from Schumer. And next thing you know, my phone’s … Anything you can create apparently can be hacked," Graham said.

Another statement on the matter has been released by Taylor Reidy, Gaham's spokeswoman.

She told the Independent, "The [Senate] Sergeant at Arms is investigating a possible hack of Senator Graham’s phone."

The FBI has declined to release a statement on the matter. The is no indication about how the investigation is proceeding.

An interesting detail

One other interesting detail about the Graham-Schumer incident regards Schumer's phone. The Hill reports, "A Democratic aide said Graham should have been instantly suspicious of any text message purportedly from Schumer because the Democratic leader is known for using an old-school LG flip phone — a relic from the 1990s, before texting caught on."

The outlet then quotes the aide as saying, "Chuck Schumer isn’t texting you from his flip phone. If you get a text message from Schumer, it probably isn’t real."

It's not the first incident of its kind

CNN notes that lawmakers have been dealing with several cyber-attacks recently.

The outlet writes:

"Reports of a text-based phishing attack on Senate mobile devices are increasing,” states an email obtained by CNN that the Senate Sergeant at Arms sent Senate staffers on Monday. “The message impersonates a trusted source to start a conversation,” the Sergeant at Arms warned. The hacker then tries to get the target to install the Telegram messaging by clicking on a malicious link that “results in the device behaving abnormally,” the email states.

CNN goes on to suggest that the Graham-Schumer incident may be more sinister than it initially appears. Per the outlet, "One risk with hacking activity like what Graham experienced is that it is an attempt to gain broader access to targets in the Senate for future operations, the source said."

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