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
- Court documents show Elon Musk regularly destroys his phones
- A SpaceX representative said the practice is for ‘security purposes’
- Privacy experts tell MailOnline the practice is ‘absurd for the average person’
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.
Musk regularly destroys his devices for ‘security purposes’ – a practice that one expert calls ‘absurd for the average person’ (File photo)
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.
Musk has since apologized for the comments adding recently that he only made them because he is a ‘f*****g idiot.’
Vernon Unsworth (pictured above) filed a lawsuit again Musk after the tech mogul claimed baselessly that he was a pedophile on Twitter
‘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.
Regular security practices involve changing one’s password, using a password manager, and make sure you don’t open any suspicious links (Stock image)
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.
WHAT WAS ELON MUSK’S PLAN TO SAVE THE THAI CHILDREN TRAPPED IN FLOODED TUNNELS?
Twelve young footballers and their 25-year-old coach became trapped in a flooded cave system in Thailand on June 23, 2018.
Divers and other rescue worker worked frantically to come up with a plan to free the youngsters imprisoned in the Tham Luang Nang Non caves.
On July 6, almost two weeks later, billionaire Elon Musk shared suggestions for those working on the ground after receiving tweets requesting his input.
Elon Musk said his Boring Co, which digs tunnels for advanced transport systems, could feed a nylon tube into the submerged sections of the cave before inflating it ‘like a bouncy castle’ to create an underwater tunnel.
Musk also committed to sending top engineers from his Boring Co. and SpaceX companies to help free the trapped schoolchildren.
According to the Tesla CEO, rescuers could use electric pumps to remove water from flooded entrance of the cave network – eliminating one of the bodies of water those trapped would need to cross.
Nylon tubes measuring some 3ft (1m) in diameter could then be fed through the cave network to the flooded sections.
Battery packs and air pumps would be used to inflate the nylon tubes, submerged underwater. These tubes would provide an escape tunnel the children could crawl through to safety, Musk suggests.
However, Professor John Gunn from the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham and chair of the cave research association, had reservations about details of the scheme.
He said: ‘If you imagine a tunnel under London flooded, this this would be straight with a few bends.
‘However, this is more like asking to thread a pipe through all the aisles of a supermarket, up the stairs, down the stairs and then back through the aisles and also in total darkness and underwater.
‘You can see it is more complicated. If he was proposing the pipe is moved by divers then I think that’s a non-starter.’