Trump website defaced in second successive cyber breach

The US President Donald Trump standing in front of the American flag
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign website was briefly hijacked last night with attackers using the platform to claim “the world has had enough of the fake news”.

The culprits pinned a messaged to the website posing as the US Department of Justice, claiming “this site was seized” and that it was time to allow the world to know the truth, according to NBC News.

This is the second time this month that a platform belonging to the US President was compromised. Trump’s Twitter account was also breached by a Dutch researcher who correctly guessed the president’s password.

Security expert Victor Gevers claims he gained access to Trump’s direct messages, could post tweets in his name and change aspects of his profile after guessing his password as “maga2020!”, de Volkskrant reported.

In the latest security breach, hackers claimed to have information that discredited the president, as well as his family, and demanded cryptocurrency payment under the threat of releasing the material publicly. They also claimed multiple devices were compromised giving full access to Trump and his relatives, as well as internal conversations and classified intel. There's no confirming the veracity of these claims, however.

The site soon went offline before being fully restored as normal without the spoofed message. A Trump campaign spokesperson told NBC News the “website was defaced and we are working with law enforcement authorities to investigate the source of the attack”.

President Trump previously claimed “nobody gets hacked”, and that you “need somebody with 197 IQ” in order to get hacked.

Details as to how the attackers infiltrated Trump’s campaign website are scarce at the moment, although the ease with which they’ve defaced the President’s platform should raise national security alarm bells.

It’s not unusual for prominent politicians or even entire government agencies to suffer the consequences of a cyber intrusion, with attackers claiming to have compromised a NASA IT contractor earlier this year, for example.

Closer to home, the personal email account of the UK’s former international trade secretary Dr Liam Fox was compromised last year in a spear-phishing exercise, wth hackers making away with sensitive trade documents.

Keumars Afifi-Sabet

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is a writer and editor that specialises in public sector, cyber security, and cloud computing. He first joined ITPro as a staff writer in April 2018 and eventually became its Features Editor. Although a regular contributor to other tech sites in the past, these days you will find Keumars on LiveScience, where he runs its Technology section.