December 15th, 2015

Twitter and the White House denied claims a hacker broke into Trump's account by guessing that his password was 'maga2020!'

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Twitter and the White House have pushed back against a report that a Dutch ethical hacker managed to crack into President Donald Trump's Twitter account by guessing his password.

Dutch magazine de Volkskrant published the report on Thursday, detailing how cybersecurity researcher Victor Gevers allegedly broke into Trump's account by guessing the password to be "maga2020!".

De Volkskrant reported that Gevers told US authorities about the breach. A second Dutch publication, Vrij Nederland, interviewed Gevers, who said he was surprised to find there was no two-factor authentication on Trump's account.

The White House denied Gevers' claim that he'd broken into the president's account. "This is absolutely not true but we don't comment on security procedures around the President's social media accounts," White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere told Forbes.

Twitter did not outright deny Gevers' claim, but said it had seen "no evidence" to back it up.

"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 told Business Insider.

Motherboard reporter Joseph Cox also cast doubt on the alleged hack, pointing out that a screenshot Gevers shared with TechCrunch of Trump's Twitter bio, allegedly taken after he'd accessed the account, did not match the president's actual bio.

Twitter did not say exactly how it protects high-profile accounts, but UC Berkeley computer scientist Nicholas Weaver told Cox that if Gevers' story were true, it should be easy for Twitter to find evidence of a breach. 

"I would expect at minimum for every account [Twitter] would log the IP and device info for every new login [...] This would be a 'new device' so it would be trivial for Twitter to verify if true or not," Weaver said. 

Gevers was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Business Insider.

Last month Gevers and two other Dutch hackers also claimed they had accessed Trump's Twitter account in 2016 by using an old password of Trump's they found from the 2012 LinkedIn data breach, which was "yourefired."

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