A Dutch ethical hacker had access to the Twitter account of US President Trump on Friday. Research by Vrij Nederland shows that the hacker in question, Victor Gevers (44), guessed the correct password after seven attempts: maga2020 !, referring to the campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” of the president. The so-called two-step verification turned out to be disabled.
In 2016, Gevers and two others also managed to get through to Trump’s account. Then they pulled his password from a leaked LinkedIn database, where Trump had used the same credentials.
The password at the time was ‘yourefired’, a text that Trump often used in the reality program The Apprentice. Free Dutch journalist Gerard Janssen told about the hack in the NOS on 3 Tech Podcast.
IQ of 197
In the talk show On 1 Gevers was asked for a tip for a stronger password, after which he suggested ‘Make America Great Again’. A variant of this now appears to have indeed been used by Trump.
Trump’s account was spared a previous large-scale hack of high profile accounts in July. A call to transfer bitcoins appeared on the accounts of Barack Obama, Elon Musk and Joe Biden.
Trump said at a campaign rally the day before yesterday that “no one gets hacked” because you need someone “with an IQ of 197 who knows 15% of your password.”
Those who have access to a Twitter account can tweet on behalf of them, change their password and profile picture, but also read personal messages. Gevers says these DMs, direct messages, not to have read.
US authorities reached out to him on Tuesday evening after the hacker made various attempts to notify Trump’s team of the vulnerability. Twitter does not respond to the question of how it is possible that the account of the president of the US has no additional security.