Donald Trump’s Twitter account was hacked last week after a Dutch researcher correctly guessed the president’s password: “maga2020!”, Dutch media reported.
Victor Gevers, a security expert, had access to Trump’s direct messages, could post tweets in his name and change his profile, De Volkskrant newspaper reported.
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Gevers – who previously managed to log into Trump’s account in 2016 – gained access by guessing Trump’s password. He tried “maga2020!” on his fifth attempt and it worked. Maga stands for Trump’s oft used campaign slogan Make America Great Again.
“I expected to be blocked after four failed attempts. Or at least would be asked to provide additional information,” Gevers told De Volkskrant.
Twitter, however, denied the report. “We’ve seen no evidence to corroborate this claim, including from the article published in the Netherlands today. We proactively implemented account security measures for a designated group of high-profile, election-related Twitter accounts in the United States, including federal branches of government,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement.
However, Gevers told De Volkskrant the ease with which he accessed Trump’s account suggested the president was not using basic security measures like two-step verification.
Gaining access to Trump’s Twitter meant Gevers was suddenly able to connect with 87m users – the number of Trump’s followers – and according to De Volkskrant’s story, it sent him into a bit of a panic.
“So, he tries to warn others. Trump’s campaign team, his family. He sends messages via Twitter asking if someone will call Trump’s attention to the fact that his Twitter account is not safe. He tags the CIA, the White House, the FBI, Twitter themselves. No response,” the paper reported.
A day after he gained access, Gevers noticed that two-step verification had been activated on Trump’s account. Two days later, the Secret Service got in touch. According to De Volkskrant, they thanked him for bringing the security problem to their attention.
Remarkably, it wasn’t the first time Gevers has gained access to the president’s Twitter account. In 2016 he and two others guessed Trump’s password and got into his account.
Back then Trump’s password was “your fired”, according to VN news.