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A hacker successfully logged in to Donald Trump's Twitter account by guessing his password - “MAGA2020!,” Dutch prosecutors have said.
The prosecutors said they will not be punishing Victor Gevers because he was acting 'ethically'.
It comes after Mr Gevers shared what he said were screenshots of the back end of the US President’s account on October 22, during the final stages of the US election.This illustration photo shows a mobile phone placed on a US flag with Tweets from US President Donald Trump masked with warnings imposed by Twitter stating that they may be incorrect, November 5, 2020 as vote counting continues to determine the winner of the presidential electionn. - Twitter and Facebook moved on November 4 to curb the reach of President Donald Trump's posts questioning the vote-counting process as a battle over the knife-edge US election spilled into social media. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
The White House at the time denied it had been hacked while Twitter said it had no evidence of it.
It started six years ago. And hopefully, it will be the last time in 2020. Please switch on two-factor authentication on all of your accounts. 🙏— Victor Gevers (@0xDUDE) October 22, 2020
In a statement following the latest developments, the social media firm said: '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.'
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Mr Gevers has been discovering security flaws in software and websites for 22 years. He said he had been conducting a semi-regular sweep of the Twitter accounts of high-profile US election candidates when he managed to guess Mr Trump's password.
He said he was happy that he would not be punished for the hack, adding: “This is not just about my work but all volunteers who look for vulnerabilities in the internet.”
Dutch police said: 'The hacker released the login himself.
'He later stated to police that he had investigated the strength of the password because there were major interests involved if this Twitter account could be taken over so shortly before the presidential election.'
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2020
They had sent the US authorities their findings, they added.
Mr Gevers had told officers he had substantially more evidence of the 'hack'.
In theory, he would have been able to see all the president's data, including private messages and photographs.
The president's account, which has 89 million followers, is now secure.
Earlier this year, Mr Gevers also claimed he and other security researchers had logged in to Mr Trump's Twitter account in 2016 using a password - 'yourefired' - linked to another of his social-network accounts in a previous data breach.
|First submitted||December 17, 2011|