Donald Trump’s Twitter 'hacked' after Dutch researcher claims to have guessed password

Victor Gevers says he previously accessed the president’s account in 2016

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One for a campaign rally in Sanford, Fla., Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Donald Trump’s Twitter account was allegedly hacked last week, after a Dutch security expert correctly guessed the US President’s password as “maga2020!”.

Researcher Victor Gevers said he had access to Mr Trump’s direct messages, could post tweets in his name and change his profile.

Mr Trump, an active tweeter with more than 87 million followers, had an extremely weak password and had not applied two-step verification, Mr Gevers said.

The security specialist guessed “maga2020!” on his fifth attempt before claiming to accessing the president’s account.

"I expected to be blocked after four failed attempts, or at least would be asked to provide additional information," Mr Gevers told De Volkskrant newspaper.

The researcher took screenshots to show he had access to the account and Dutch security experts have verified them, after they were shared with the newspaper. However, Twitter said on Thursday there was "no evidence" of the hack.

After alerting the White House about the security leak, Mr Gevers was later contacted by the US Secret Service in the Netherlands. Mr Trump’s account has been made more secure since, the newspaper reported.

Mr Trump's account has been hacked more than once by Dutch researchers. Four years ago, three hackers - Mr Gevers among them - managed to retrieve the president's password and access his account just before the 2016 election. Back then, Mr Trump's password was "yourefired", his catchphrase from his hit TV programme The Apprentice, VN news reported.

In July, several official accounts of powerful individuals and companies were compromised, including those of Apple, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Joe Biden and former US president Barack Obama.

An election ripe for interference

The US presidential election is on November 3, less than two weeks away. Both Mr Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden are due to go head-to-head in the final presidential debate on Thursday evening.

Only yesterday, the FBI said Iran and Russia had US voter information and were trying to interfere with the outcome of the election. Both countries have denied the accusations.

"Iran's strong rejection of American officials' repetitive, baseless and false claims was conveyed to the Swiss ambassador [who represents US interests in Tehran]," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told state TV.

"As we have said before, it makes no difference for Iran who wins the US election," he added.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the accusations and “groundless”.