How this NATO commander discovered someone in Moscow tried to hack his phone


ORSZYSZ, Poland — On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Russian government is attempting to target soldiers' smartphones. The goal: "to gain operational information, gauge troop strength and intimidate soldiers," the newspaper says.

The NewsHour spoke Monday to a source who believes he experienced this firsthand.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christopher L'Heureux, commander of the NATO base in Poland, told PBS NewsHour special correspondent Ryan Chilcote that he had wrapped up a day of military exercises in Poland when he turned on his iPhone and noticed something irregular.

The phone said "someone is trying to access your … iPhone Apple account," and also displayed a map showing the location of the person attempting to connect to his phone. It pointed to Moscow. Because L'Heureux has two-factor authentication, which requires users to enter an additional code to get into the device, the person was unable to gain access. L'Heureux said his iPad was also targeted. He thinks, through both devices, the perpetrator had been "following me around all day."

About 800 troops from the U.S. Army's Second Cavalry Regiment, the backbone of the NATO force deployed to counter potential threats from Russia, finished a three-day exercise in northeast Poland on Tuesday. The drill happened just 35 miles south of Russia's Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad, where Moscow has stationed nuclear-capable missiles.

PBS NewsHour will report next week on NATO training exercises to counter potential threats from Russia.

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