The soccer ball Putin gave Trump may have contained an emitter chip

Surprise! That very innocent soccer ball that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave Donald Trump to their summit in Helsinki last week (yes, that was last week, folks) may not be so innocent.

Bloomberg reports that the soccer ball may contain a built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) chip.

The ball, which is produced by Adidas, usually has a chip that allows it to communicate with nearby devices, such as phones and tablets. When connected to a device, the chip allows fans to access “exclusive product information, Adidas football content, special competitions and challenges, etc. “, According to Adidas.


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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP / REX / Shutterstock (9763104b) Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin. Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, gives a soccer ball to US President Donald Trump, left, during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland Putin Trump Summit, Helsinki, Finland – July 16 2018
Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP / REX / Shutterstock

While it is not clear whether this exact bullet contained the chip or was tampered with by the Russians in any way, photos from the event clearly show the chip’s logo, which is where it is. is placed inside the ball.

Maskable image

Credit: screenshot / adidas

Adidas declined to comment to Bloomberg whether the NFC chip could be used by Russians to hack nearby devices, such as Trump’s allegedly risky phones. The White House also declined to say if the ball had been altered or where the gift would be kept. The balloon underwent a routine security check by the US secret service, reports the AP.

While Adidas notes on its website that the chip is “passive,” it’s probably not worth the risk. After all, it was handed over to the president by the ruler of Russia, a country that is no stranger to all manner of hacks, including the 2016 US election.

However, as Bloomberg and Forbes noted in 2015, “An engineer used an NFC chip to send a nearby Android phone a request to open a link which, if the user agreed to open it, installed a malicious file that took control of the phone. “

Sorry, but I don’t trust anyone in government to be tech savvy enough not to fall for such an attack. Hell, they fall left and right for Sacha Baron Cohen’s pranks.

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