Oh hey, do you remember a long time ago (or a week and a half ago) when Vladimir Putin was being the cutest little KGB handler ever and he tossed a World Cup soccer ball at Melania Trump's face so she could take it back to the White House and put it somewhere preferably facing Moscow, so it could transmit one million "wire tapps" a day back to Russia? HAHA! We make joke that we've been making ever since Donald Trump had a treason summit in Helsinki with Putin!

At least we thought we were making a joke. OK, we halfway thought we were making a joke about something we believe 100% to be true.

Really, we weren't joking at all. Here's Bloomberg with a scooplet:

Markings on the ball indicate that it contained a chip with a tiny antenna that transmits to nearby phones.

But rather than a spy device, the chip is an advertised feature of the Adidas AG ball. Photographs from the news conference in Helsinki, where Putin handed the ball to Trump, show it bore a logo for a near-field communication tag. During manufacturing, the NFC chip is placed inside the ball under that logo, which resembles the icon for a WiFi signal, according to the Adidas website.

The chip allows fans to access player videos, competitions and other content by bringing their mobile devices close to the ball.

OH THAT IS FUN! It's like one of those Fancy Dan "enhanced experiences," where super soccer fans can unlock sexxxy special features! We wonder if Russian intelligence could figure out how to hack something like that and put a voice-activated transmitter in it HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA SERIOUSLY, WHAT A HARD QUESTION FOR US TO ANSWER, BASED ON EVERYTHING WE KNOW.

Bloomberg talked to Adidas, which said no, you can't actually fuck around with the chip itself, but notably it did not say whether the Russians could potentially do "wire tapps" to it.

Of course, you could always rip the motherfucker out and stick somethin' new up inside the ball:

While the logo on the ball advertised the presence of the chip, it couldn't be determined from the photos whether the chip might have been removed, replaced with actual spy gear, or, even more remotely, whether the entire ball itself was fabricated for the event and only resembled the Adidas model in question.


In theory, such tags can be programmed to initiate an attack on a phone, at least one hacker has shown. In 2015, Forbes reported that an engineer used an NFC chip to send a nearby Android phone a request to open a link that -- if the user agreed to open it -- installed a malicious file that took over the phone.


But on the other hand ...

[S]uch a multi-stepped attack via a soccer ball seems unlikely, said Linus Neumann [a German hacker expert dude] ...

The hacker expert dude adds that Trump would have to be real fuckin' stupid to let his soccer ball hack his phone like that, because here's why:

"Trump would have to ignore multiple security warnings and intentionally install a malware on his device," Neumann said, adding that such a hack working would depend on the president, "falling for a silly attack like this."

In other words, the hack is complete.

At press time, Donald Trump was seen ordering Big Macs from the magic Alexa inside the soccer ball who has a Russian accent for some reason, dunno why.

Asked to input his password to complete the order, he just yelled out our nuclear codes, because that is his password now, because the soccer ball told him to do that last Tuesday.

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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