Cryptocurrency Hackers Deface Trump Campaign Site

Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr (cropped)


The hackers sought donations in Monero, a cryptocurrency that is difficult to trace.

According to The New York Times, President Donald Trump’s campaign website was taken over by hackers for a short time on Tuesday.

The hackers claimed they had compromised “multiple devices” and had gained access to the “most internal and secret conversations” of Trump and his family members.

The defacement lasted less than 30 minutes, but the incident came as Mr. Trump’s campaign and that of his opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., as well as law enforcement and intelligence agencies, have been on high alert for digital interference ahead of next week’s election.

In a statement, Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, confirmed the website’s defacement and said 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 hackers reportedly accused the Trump administration of having a part in the origins of the coronavirus, though they offered no evidence. In addition, the hackers alleged that the administration was working with "foreign actors manipulating the 2020 election."

They asked visitors to the site to donate Monero — a cryptocurrency that is difficult to trace — to one of two funds. One was labeled “Yes, share the data,” and the other was labeled “No, Do not share the data.”

“After the deadline, we will compare the funds and execute the will of the world,” they wrote, without specifying a deadline. The hackers also posted what they said was their encryption key, ostensibly to verify that whatever information they posted came from them. The key corresponded to an email address at a nonexistent internet site.

Cybersecurity experts said that the incident could have been caused by tricking a website administrator into turning over their credentials, in what is known as a phishing attack, or by redirecting the campaign website to the hacker’s own server.

Read the full report.


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