This isn’t a political post — hence the fact that we left the rather famous victim of a recent Twitter hacking out of the headline and did not use a photo of him to get you to click.
No matter what your political stripe or who you are voting for, it might be worth your time to have a look at all of your various passwords, and make sure that they are not too obvious or easy to guess.
According to The Guardian, President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was hacked last week, after a Dutch man correctly guessed the president’s password. The password? “maga2020!”
Victor Gevers, a security expert, accessed President Trump’s account, the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant reported. That gave him access to the President’s direct messages; of course that also meant that he could post tweets in the President’s name and change his profile, if he wished.
De Volkskrant reported that he tried to alert Trump’s team about this. “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.” However, the next day, he said that two-step verification had been activated on Trump’s account. And the day after that, the Secret Service reached out to him. According to De Volkskrant, they thanked him for bringing the security problem to their attention.
Gevers says that it took him five tries to guess the President’s password. “I expected to be blocked after four failed attempts. Or at least would be asked to provide additional information,” he told De Volkskrant, noting that two-step verification hadn’t been activated when he hacked the account. The Guardian notes that this was actually the second time that Gevers hacked Trump’s Twitter. The first time was in 2016. The password back then? “yourfired.”
The lesson here? Either use the “strong” passwords suggested by sites, or come up with a strong one on your own (and note the password so you don’t forget it!). Google has some tips on strong passwords.