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Soccer ball Putin gave Trump contains transmitter chip — but for Adidas: report
The Adidas soccer ball Russian President Vladimir Putin gave to President Trump at their summit in Finland appears to contain a chip that can transmit information to nearby cellphones, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
The publication noted that photos of the ball show a logo for a near-field communication (NFC) tag, a chip that is included in the Adidas 2018 FIFA World Cup ball. Russia hosted this year's World Cup.
Adidas AG soccer balls, similar to the one Putin presented to Trump during a joint press conference last week, contain a small chip that can send content to mobile devices. Users can hold their phones close to the ball to access videos and competitions, according to Bloomberg.
Adidas declined to comment to Bloomberg on whether the device could be used in a Russian cyberattack. The brand's website states that the chip can't be modified.
The publication reported that such a chip has been used at least once to breach a phone, though a cybersecurity expert told Bloomberg that it's unlikely that a cyberattack could be launched using the device.
The soccer ball underwent a security screening as part of the routine procedure for all gifts given to the president, the U.S. Secret Service said last week.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had said on Twitter that the ball should be inspected for "listening devices" and that he would "never allow it in the White House."
It's unknown if the chip - if it was in the ball at all - was removed before or after it was given to Trump.