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Tech & Science Elon Musk regularly destroys his phones for 'security purposes,' reveal defamation documents filed by heroic Thai diver who he called a 'pedo' - and a security expert agrees that smashing up the handsets are 'not the worst idea'

05:06  20 october  2019
05:06  20 october  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Elon Musk regularly destroys his phones for ' security purposes ,' reveal documents filed in defamation case by heroic Thai diver who he called a ' pedo ' - a security expert agrees that smashing up the handsets are ' not the worst idea ' for tech mogul.

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk employs a rather drastic measure when it comes to mobile security: the trashcan.

In new legal documents highlighted by Business Insider, a SpaceX employee divulged that Musk systematically destroys his phones for 'security purposes' and then switches to brand new ones.

'For security purposes, Mr. Musk regularly changes his cellular device, at which time his old device is imaged, wiped clean, and stored or destroyed,' reads a statement submitted in a legal filing on Monday.

The documents were submitted as part of an ongoing court case between Musk and a diver named Vernon Unsworth who sued the CEO for defamation after he called Unsworth 'pedo guy' on Twitter last year.

The exchange came after Musk suggested using a mini-submarine to help save a youth soccer team and their coach who were trapped inside a cave in Thailand that Unsworth described as a publicity stunt.

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Courtroom sketch shows diver Rick Stanton during the trial in a defamation case filed by British cave diver Vernon Unsworth, who is suing Tesla chief Vernon Unsworth, the British cave explorer who is suing Tesla CEO Elon Musk for calling him a " pedo guy" was asked if he would apologize to Musk

Musk has since apologized for the comments adding recently that he only made them because he is a 'f*****g idiot.'

'Mr. Musk updates his phone (like lots of other people) and Mr. Musk occasionally has to change his phone for reasons that have to do with security and sensitive information,' Alex Spiro, an attorney for Musk, told Business Insider

While Musk's practice of constantly destroying and replacing phones may seem completely outlandish to most, Security Engineer for the research firm CheckPoint, Maya Levine, said there is at least some merit to the madness.

'In terms of security it is not the worst idea to switch out your phone, especially if you are such a public figure like Elon Musk. Just look at what happened to Jeff Bezos with his phone being hacked and certain photos being leaked,' she told MailOnline in an email.

That being said, Levine says Musk's habit is far from sound when it comes to your average person.

'This idea seems pretty absurd for the average person,' Levine said.

'Switching out your phone would get rid of any malware that was installed on that specific device. However, it would not solve anything in terms of “Account Takeover” attacks where the hackers gain access to your credentials and login information. Even on a new device this will be the same unless you change it.'

Like most cyber security experts, Levine recommends the standard hygiene when it comes to protecting yourself from cyber threats.

'Don’t connect to a WiFi network you do not know, do not open links in text messages or emails from someone you do not know, do not download apps that are not legitimate,' she said.

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This is interesting!