It took Dutch hacker Victor Gevers only seven attempts to guess the password of the US president’s social network Twitter Donald Trump: “It was not difficult at all” because it neither had additional security nor did it use a complicated password; accessed with “maga2020!“(the initials of his campaign slogan, Make America Great Again).
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Gevers, security researcher, had access to the president’s personal messages and was able to change his profile and tweet on behalf of @realDonaldTrump, an active user with 87.3 million followers on this social network, but only took screenshots, without browsing, he said, confidential files of the Republican candidate.
“My first thought when I logged in was, ‘OMG!’ It was like I didn’t want to have been able to access, especially not such an important account“He explained to the Dutch platform NV, which published the screenshots made by Gevers last Friday, although not in their entirety because they contained private correspondence from the president.
The problem wasn’t just the weakness of the password Trump uses. Nor had it activated the double authentication system, whereby the platform sends a second verification code to the phone number or email linked to the account in question, especially when accessed from an unknown computer.
Once inside anyone’s account, you can tweet, change the password or profile photo, and even download a file with private messages, but hackers like Gevers, dedicated to “responsible” or “ethical” disclosure, only warn users and businesses about their account vulnerabilities.
Attempts to alert the president, his White House team, the campaign team, and even members of his family about the security of the Twitter account failed, but days later, the US secret services contacted Gevers to thank him for the tip. Trump changed his password and activated double verification.
My first thought when I logged in was, ‘OMG!’ It was like I didn’t want to have been able to access, especially not such an important account “
It is not the first time that Gevers has managed to access the account of the American president. As early as October 2016, he and several friends found Trump’s password in a database leaked by hackers. So, Trump had “youarefired” (you’re fired, in English) as a password.
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Gevers is a highly respected pirate in the world of hackers, precisely because of his ethical working method. Among other discoveries, found a Chinese database with personal information (phone, dates of birth, photos, employer, identity number or nationality) and locations (with GPS coordinates of all places visited) 2.7 million people in Xinjang, China’s largest province and home to Uyghurs, showing that the Chinese government is monitoring this ethnic minority in the country.
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