President Trump’s marketing campaign web site was briefly taken over by hackers who defaced the location on Tuesday.
The defacement lasted lower than half-hour, however the incident got here as Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign and that of his opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., in addition to legislation enforcement and intelligence companies, have been on excessive alert for digital interference forward of subsequent week’s election.
In a press release, Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump marketing campaign, confirmed the web site’s defacement and stated it was “working with law enforcement authorities to investigate the source of the attack.” He added, “There was no exposure to sensitive data because none of it is actually stored on the site. The website has been restored.”
The F.B.I. didn’t instantly touch upon the incident. The defacement was first famous on Twitter by Gabriel Lorenzo Greschler, a journalist on the Jewish News of Northern California, whereas he was researching an article on local weather change.
It was not clear whether or not the defacement was the work of overseas hackers or cybercriminals. But in a screed posted to Mr. Trump’s web site — donaldjtrump.com — the hackers claimed to have compromised “multiple devices” that gave them entry to the “most internal and secret conversations” of the president and his family, together with categorised info.
The hackers additionally accused the Trump administration, with out proof, of getting a hand within the origins of the coronavirus and cooperating with “foreign actors manipulating the 2020 elections.”
The hackers seemed to be trying to generate cryptocurrency. They invited guests to donate cryptocurrency to one among two funds — one labeled “Yes, share the data,” the opposite labeled “No, Do not share the data.” They solicited funds in Monero, a hard-to-trace cryptocurrency.
“After the deadline, we will compare the funds and execute the will of the world,” they wrote, with out specifying a deadline. The hackers additionally posted what they stated was their encryption key, ostensibly to confirm that no matter info they posted got here from them. The key corresponded to an electronic mail handle at a nonexistent web web site.
Though the defacement seemed to be a part of a typical cryptocurrency rip-off to get folks to irreversibly donate cash on-line, the incident took on added urgency one week earlier than the election. Cybersecurity specialists stated that the incident might have been precipitated by tricking an internet site administrator into turning over their credentials, in what is called a phishing assault, or by redirecting the marketing campaign web site to the hacker’s personal server.
Intelligence companies have been carefully monitoring hacking teams, together with groups backed by Iran and Russia, which have tried to interrupt into election-related methods and have been concerned in affect operations in latest weeks.
Last week, John Ratcliffe, the director of nationwide intelligence, recognized Iran and Russia as two nations accountable for disinformation and a few restricted intrusions into voter registration databases.
He cited threatening emails, ostensibly from the far-right group the Proud Boys, that had been despatched to voters in Florida and elsewhere. But the emails relied on publicly-available info; no hacking was obligatory. And they had been written in damaged English — as was the defaced Trump web site.
Last week, Mr. Trump instructed a marketing campaign rally in Tucson, Ariz., “Nobody gets hacked. To get hacked you need somebody with 197 I.Q. and he needs about 15 percent of your password.”
Julian E. Barnes, Adam Goldman and David E. Sanger contributed reporting.
Nicole Perlroth – www.nytimes.com