back to article Cyber-security super-brain Rudy Giuliani forgets password, bricks iPhone, begs Apple Store staff for help

The month after Rudy Giuliani was named the US president’s cybersecurity adviser, the former mayor of New York queued up outside an Apple Store in San Francisco to get staff to reset his iPhone because he couldn’t remember the passcode. Giuliani had typed into the wrong code more than 10 times, seizing up the phone and an …

  1. beep54


    And no one was surprised.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: ?!??!?

      Well, not surprising but definitely the belly laugh of the week.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: ?!??!?

        My response was more like the Nelson Laugh from The Simpsons and then a facepalm.

    2. georgezilla Bronze badge

      Re: ?!??!?


      No one that I know anyway.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Quadruple cluelessness! What on earth must he have been thinking? Oh.....hang on......He wasn't thinking at all......that's more like it. Obviously been to the Trump school of brainless wonders!

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Clueless

      What on earth must he have been thinking?

      Oh you know, sunshine and lollipops....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least he didn't do a Gary Glitter......

    Seriously though, he is adviser to El PoTUS and uses a personal phone, not a govt issued secure one?

    And is dumb enough to forget his password, 10 times?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      POTUS himself, alas, refuses to use anything but his own devices.

      1. big_D Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        I remember the reports about Obama wanting to keep his Blackberry and it being taken away from him and he had to use a secure phone...

        What happened in the intervening few years? :-S

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      No, lost the bit of paper it was written on once, guessed 10 times. What we really want to know: were all those tries the same passcode?

      1. ST Silver badge

        > What we really want to know: were all those tries the same passcode?

        Yes. 12345.

        1. Ochib Silver badge

          Thats the same combination as my luggage

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            You have expensive luggage. Mine can only manage 123.

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Give him a break. He's in his late 80s and probably has trouble remembering if he has put his trousers on over his underwear. Just be thankful that the Apple GeniusBar assistant wasn't a decorated Democrat Ukrainian veteran with a history of loyal service to the USA .. he wasn't was he?

    4. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Well, appearances would seem to indicate that his boss doesn't like to hire people who might give the appearance of being smarter than him -- and any time he does (when blinded by his adoration for "strong" military generals, frex), they don't last long.

      So-o-o-o-o-o-o... Yeah... Giuliani as cybersecurity czar makes total sense.

  4. Palpy

    Rudy's mind has left the building.

    Really. He's popped out of gear at the top of the Hill and is free-wheeling toward an uncontrolled wipeout. In security as in government, there are professionals, there are those who can learn to be professionals, and there are untrainable idiots. We know where Rudy is in that regard.

    1. hmv Bronze badge

      Re: Rudy's mind has left the building.

      Even the untrainable idiots[0] object to being in the same category as Rudy.

      0: It turns out if you speak slowly, repeat yourself frequently, and proceed at a pace a snail would find ridiculously slow, you can get somewhere. Not always in the direction you wanted to go mind!

  5. TheGhostDeejay


    Well I would imagine the British "government" will be grateful for his faux pas.

    He has achieved what I would have thought was impossible and managed to make those numpties look like Mensa material.

    Cheers… Ishy

  6. keithzg
    IT Angle

    Entirely explains the pocket dialing

    My presumption when the pocket dialing was detailed was that he didn't have any lock PIN or pass on his phone, and that he'd previously had such troubles due to entering the wrong password too many times seems like strong evidence for that. I can easily imagine him being like, well screw it, not worth the effort then.

  7. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Thumb Down




  8. DougS Silver badge

    If he wasn't such an obviously stupid man

    I could have ascribed this whole scenario to a plot to erase incriminating messages while giving himself plausible deniability.

    Let's say you had used iCloud in the past but shut it off last spring when you started doing especially illegal things involving Ukraine. Now you are under investigation by the DoJ for counter-intelligence (!) and presumably they've served you with a preservation order (requiring you to preserve all paper and electronic documents and communications) How do you get rid of the incriminating evidence without running afoul of that court order?

    "Ooops, I forgot my password" and get Apple employees to wipe and restore your phone to where it was back in March. Then when the court asks what happened to all your iMessage records from April through October you can say "it was that darn Apple store employee who erased them your honor!"

    But like I said, Rudy is far too stupid to do this. He's a man who openly admits crimes during TV interviews in a follow up question after he denied them. I'm sure he's got iCloud left on permanently, with the password "MAGA" (which, as with Michael Cohen, stands for My Attorney Got Arrested)

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: If he wasn't such an obviously stupid man

      Not so sure about "stupid" but more like ignorant (watch his IT security speeches) and quite probably well into dementia but the "greed" still is there. No excuse though as POTUS is just using him as a front man to confuse things and take some heat when every thing really starts imploding. I fully expect he will be tossed under the bus at some point just like others have been.

      1. The IT Ghost

        Re: If he wasn't such an obviously stupid man

        He's the political equivalent of a lightning rod. Not much removed from the role Dan Quayle had as Veep during Bush 41's term in office. The press starts getting too heated up, trot out the Lightning Rod, fully confident the LR will do/say something that will distract the media for days while they laugh about it, and totally forget about what they were after the President for.

        Clinton used to do something similar, but since Al Gore had political aspirations of his own and refused to play the village idiot, Clinton would have the military launch a few cruise missiles at random "terrorist" targets.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      His Russian links go back to 2004

      I don't think for a second his 'special' relationships started last spring. I suspect Rudy was supposed to be Trump mk #1, his "special" links to Russia date back to before Rudy's election bid in 2008, some as far back as 2004.

      For example,

      Google combinations of "Rudy Giulliani" and "Tri Global Ventures", "Sergey Lavrov" and those links date back to 2004.

      Google [vitaly pruss 45 energy group] and you'll get a glimpse under the hood of the current state of connections. (Vitaly = Tri Global Venture President)

      You might notice the people involved were also there for Rudy's 2008 election bid, e.g. :

      It's difficult to imagine that these links are accidental. It's also difficult to believe that all those links can be covered up simply by deleting one mans phone.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If he wasn't such an obviously stupid man

      He's not stupid. Just a cousin f***er.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: If he wasn't such an obviously stupid man

        I find it weird that cousin marriage is legal, if slightly frowned upon in Europe. Compared to the US where it's often illegal, and universally reviled.

        This despite the US being a country founded by immigrants (well, immigrants who effectively stole the country from the native Americans), who would presumably have quite a wide genetic background, compared to Europe where I'm sure many of us can point to places that have more of a 'gene puddle' (such as the Forest of Dean).

        I'd expect it to be the other way around.

        (Although many of the royal families of Europe would be in trouble if cousin marriage wasn't legal, given that most of them are related in more than one way)

        1. John Mangan

          Re: If he wasn't such an obviously stupid man


          Maybe it's the fact that the royal families of Europe inter-married so much that made it socially acceptable?

          Well, if it's good enought for His Highness . . . . .

          Equally perhaps the strongly anti-establishment views of the first settlers pushed them strongly the other way.

          NOTE: I know absolutely nothing about this subject but I was provoked by your interesting question.

        2. KBeee

          Re: If he wasn't such an obviously stupid man

          I have a Russian friend who's family originally came from Georgia. She told me that in some of the villages in the mountains of Georgia everyone in the village has the same surname. Rudi should feel at home there.

        3. KBeee

          Re: If he wasn't such an obviously stupid man

          I have a Russian friend who's family originally came from Georgia. She told me that in some of the villages in the mountains of Georgia everyone in the village has the same surname. Rudy should feel at home there.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If he wasn't such an obviously stupid man

            The irony of posting the same message twice when calling out someone else for being an idiot. LOL!

            Oh, I forgot, yanks don't do irony ;)

    4. ATeal

      Re: If he wasn't such an obviously stupid man

      Also the thing is dated some time in 2017 - not sure what fuckups were before and after though. I'm not going to look it up either.

  9. TheGhostDeejay

    Have just had another thought

    Oh do be quiet. I knowI don't think too often except when it comes to thinking about which pub I am going to next.

    He is the answer to the encryption "problem". They can stop trying to beak encryption and just do a bit of selective breeding to turn all the new born into "Butt Diallers". Just think, in about 20 years all the sub humans that do the spying will just have to listen. Perfect for them don't you think? And think of the money they can save by not hiring scum to break encryption that we use in order to have a modicum of privacy.


    Cheers… Ishy

  10. Mephistro Silver badge

    It's incredible...

    ...the kind of human trash POTUS surrounds himself with in order to stand out. An obviously failed attempt also.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: It's incredible...

      Agreed. In three short years I have seen more scum churn around Trump than I would have thought possible to ever see in the company of a President of the United States.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: It's incredible...

        It's a true democracy.

        Instead of jury service everyone will chosen get to be Whitehouse press secretary eventually.

      2. hmv Bronze badge

        Re: It's incredible...

        There again it seems perfectly normal once you picture Trump as a rancid turd.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's incredible...

        He promised "I'm gonna drain the swamp"

        And he promptly filled it up again with toxic waste

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love it when a plan comes together

    1) get random people to play at unlocking target phone until it locks solid.

    2) wait for target to visit the closest apple store

    3) "we will have to reset it I'm afraid. Be back soon "

    4) fetch replacement phone from drawer

    5) explain how to setup and recover online backup. Happy customer :-)

    6) anonymous email to customers of that Israeli company. "Iphone for sale. Offline data retrieval advised."

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I love it when a plan comes together

      I'm sure a political opponent would pick up on that and base some of campaign around it

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I know the Law is an ass

    Because Rudy Giulliani is an Attorney (apparently)

  13. Warm Braw Silver badge

    What makes an Apple employee a "genius"?

    Having a higher level of competence than Rudy Giuliani, it would seem.

    On that basis, Trump might just scrape a T-shirt after all.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: What makes an Apple employee a "genius"?

      I've often wondered if the "Geniuses" behind the "Genius Bar" in an Apple store might fall foul of Advertising Standards.

      Most dictionary definitions indicate that the person is exceptional in some way, usually intelectually or creatively. Merriam-Websters, the go to of choice for the US, starts with "a very smart or talented person " which is probably where Apple stopped reading.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: What makes an Apple employee a "genius"?

        "Most dictionary definitions indicate that the person is exceptional in some way..."

        What? Working in an Apple store is not exceptional enough for you???


  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "But if those views change significantly from day-to-day, moment-to-moment and tweet-to-tweet, maybe it doesn’t matter at all. Because no one, not even Rudy Giuliani, knows what is going on in his head. Well, apart from Apple Store employees."

    This one made me laugh: the penultimate of security: insanity, when, no matter how much surveillance, no-one can predict what you'll be doing.


  15. 0laf Silver badge

    Speaking truth to power

    Most people in power have no idea about these things. They rely on minions to sort all this stuff out for them. Passwords are for PAs. Security gets in the way and if it goes wrong then it's someone elses fault anyway.

    Some of it is forgivable, these are busy people and systems and securty should be designed with their operation needs in mind. But they are also high profile targets and can't escape their reponsibilities.

    You can't transfer risk by shouting at your PA or an IT tech and you can't change the threat landscape by waving your arms around in a irritated fashion.

  16. Milton Silver badge


    The Secret Service uses codenames for those it protects; past presidents have been variously "Rawhide", "Deacon" and "Renegade"*, to name but a few. If they'll break with tradition and move up to appropriately descriptive codenames, all sorts of possibilities open up. Why, I can easily imagine a Giuliani-Trump supper meeting being immortalised over the airwaves—

    "Uh, Control, we're in position ... location is secure ... we have eyes on Crazed Gerbil sitting down with Tiny Paws."

    * If you're interested ... respectively: Reagan, Carter, Obama.

  17. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Personal lawyer

    As an adviser on cybersecurity to President Trump and more recently as his personal lawyer

    This phrase gets bandied about a lot in reference to Giuliani but I don't think it means what most people think it means, specifically Rudy Giuliani is not being retained as a criminal attorney for Donald Trump, ie. client-attorney privilege does not apply.

  18. Captain Badmouth

    Website scores

    I see his website scores a "T" due to certificate mismatch here:

    and, as you may have guessed, an "F" here:

    Laughed? I almost opened that attachment...

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