With the U.S. Presidential Elections just around the corner, President Donald Trump’s campaign website was briefly taken over and defaced by hackers. In an act that lasted close to 30 minutes, The New York Times reports that hackers replaced a section of Trump’s campaign website. Gabriel Lorenzo Greschler, who is a journalist at the Jewish News of Northern California, was among the first to report of the incident. Greschler stumbled upon the hack while researching climate change, and proceeded to make a video demonstrating the seized website:
As seen above, hackers took over the ‘Coalitions’ tab on the President’s website and claimed to have compromised ‘multiple devices’, essentially giving them access to ‘most internal and secret conversations’, including classified information. They further threatened to discredit the POTUS by choosing to either release the sensitive data or keep it a secret. The choice of this was left at the hands of site visitors; an encryption key was also dropped on the page so that the hackers could solicit votes in a cryptocurrency called Monero. The hackers also accused the Trump administration of cooperating with foreign actors in manipulating the upcoming elections and of having a hand in the advent of the coronavirus.
Tim Murtaugh, the spokesman for the Trump campaign confirmed the reports of the website being defaced and said they were “working with law enforcement authorities to investigate the source of the attack.” He later clarified that there was no leak of sensitive data either and that the website had been restored.
This hack comes less than a week after an ethical hacker claimed to have obtained access to President Trump’s official Twitter account with the password ‘maga2020!’. It’s also days after the President claimed in a campaign rally that “Nobody gets hacked. To get hacked you need somebody with 197 I.Q. and he needs about 15 percent of your password.” Regardless, intelligence agencies have claimed that today’s defacement could’ve been yet another cryptocurrency fraud to solicit money via phishing.